Archive for March, 2020


“What? WHO IS THAT?!??”

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”

Today I was intending on returning here to discuss the largest severe weather event which is known as “The Tri-State Tornado” as it happened on this day in 1925.

But I scratched that idea as it a very bleak and tragic story. So instead I will write about one of the most precious times that has ever happened in my life. Full of hope, love, and in my own opinion, rather funny if one thinks about it.

This happened on the 18th of March in the year 2017.

But for those of you who are not subscribed to this blog and are new, a bit of a back story.

I had effectively stopped writing show reviews some time in very late 2014, with very few exceptions here and there throughout those years. Needless to say that was a bad idea. New show blog coming at some point this year.

But in mid March of 2017, the SXSW Festival was happening. Most importantly what was called “Heart of Texas Rockfest” was going on. The evening of the 18th was the grand finale of the entire SXSW experience.

At this point, I had gone out thirteen nights in a row. Each night of SXSW, and the nights before leading up to SXSW. But the 18th was going to be the last for about two nights before I went out again.

On the 18th I pretty much stayed around Rockfest all day long. One of the bands that was going to be towards the end of the night was Raven Black, a metal band from Los Angeles. I had heard about them from a colleague and since they were coming to town already, I decided that I would check them out.

But as many of you live music fanatics know that when you go for one artist, you end up listening to a different artist that you like. And so you start to follow them. And the cycle repeats.

This was no different with a rock band that I would discover that night.

In all honesty, I just really wasn’t paying much attention to the live music that was happening. I was preparing for Raven Black to get on one of the two stages that was set up. I began to wonder if Raven Black would even have people come to see them.

But there was a rock band on stage, and Raven Black was scheduled to play next.

I recall engaging in conversation with some random gentleman who was enthralled with my skull rings that filled every single finger at the time.

My back was actually turned to the stage. As I said, I was NOT paying any attention at all.

Up until one moment where the music began to play the next song, and the crowds who were there started to cheer and scream and most importantly, began to howl!!!

I wondered what in the world was happening. Was there something crazy going on stage that I was missing? Did some idiot in the crowd get so drunk that they tore off their clothes and started to run? What was the noise about???

I was in mid sentence with my conversation and just stopped to turn around very slowly.

My eyes would behold a sight that would change my entire life forever.

The band that was up on stage? An all female rock band called “The Mrs”.

Mandy on guitar and vocals.
Jenny on bass guitar and vocals.
Larissa on keyboards and vocals.
Andra on drums and vocals.

Four gorgeous and (soon to be finding out) talented women all in black and rocking some choreographed moves on stage to a song that is called “Bait And Switch”. 17388908_10154430023716453_8664476018360684040_o


I pretty much abandoned the poor guy I was talking to right then and there.

I moved cautiously towards the front of the stage as to not to attract attention by the band. But keeping it that way was a failure as I scrambled for my digital camera that I had at the time to take photos of these stunning women who were out there and rocking.


I had nothing but tunnel vision as I watched the rest of their set play out.

I noticed the large screen behind them kept flashing the band logo “The Mrs” and immediately put two and two and two together. For about five seconds, it equalled about 40 and a half, until six was the right thought.

I thought to myself: This band must be called “The Mrs” and they must be called that for a reason. And I was right on both assumptions. I knew right away to behave and not to engage in any shenanigans.

They played a song called “The Beast” and I just kept screaming out loud : “Wow! Wow! WOW!!! WOWWWW!!!”

Each of them looking at me, then smiled and continued on with the set.

As they bowed to the crowd at the end, I nearly forgot about Raven Black!!! And so that band started to play. I had to rush over towards that other stage to be front and center and watch them as well for the first time.

Even though I enjoyed Raven Black’s set and became a fan of theirs that very evening. I couldn’t stop looking around to see if the members of The Mrs were still around. I wondered if they were going to hang out the rest of the night or if they, like many other bands during SXSW, were going to up and split. Between checking my digital camera for the next shot of Raven Black and looking around for The Mrs, I can think back and realize that I was no longer focused.

The whole time I was thinking, “Please don’t leave. Please don’t leave. Just lemme get a photo… PLEASE DON’T LEAVE!!”

At the very end of the night, I spotted members of The Mrs walking around, some were talking to other people, and others just hanging out.

I quickly took the opportunity to take selfies with members of Raven Black, talked with them, but kept an eye open for The Mrs to appear some where …. ANY WHERE.

Then Raven Black left the area, and I had spotted Jenny once again. I slowly began to gravitate towards her. 17358882_10154430021006453_2181635018379226095_o

But here I was wanting to take photos with The Mrs, but being scared to death just to ask and lacking the testicular fortitude to do so.

I put myself in a difficult situation by doing that.

Then I saw the rest of the band members. They were all still there, talking to people, taking photos, shaking hands and kissing babies… the whole nine yards.

This was my chance!

I grabbed my digital camera and opened the shutter, so to be ready.

First person to spot me was Mandy. She came up to me and asked, “Did you want to take a picture?”


I temporarily lost the ability of speech. So all I could do was nod. What the hell?!??

Mandy said she would gather up the rest of the band and to just wait. Then she disappeared. Like literally, I had no idea where she went.

The next person to come up to me was Andra, then Jenny the same way.

So for as long as I live, I will always remember that three out of the four members of The Mrs… their first words to me were “Did you want to take a picture?”. And bonus fact: Britny Lobas from Corbella (formerly Nomad City) said the exact same first words to me when I met her at SXSW 2016.

And each time I sat there, mouth open, and unable to use verbal communication. Not to any of them.

However with each of them coming up and asking, they were not nearly as quick and successful to fulfill the request. One kept running off, or someone interrupted. Anything you can think of that would have temporarily prohibited getting the photo taken… happened.

With the camera shutter open for so long, I ended up draining my batteries that I had to switch them out….. twice! Yep, I killed two sets of batteries just waiting for the opportunity for a photograph.

Finally at long last the band was assembled and they came up from behind to pose.

Normally while posing for photographs at that time, I would put my arm around the other person. But there were four of them and only two arms. Plus I did not know who these women were at the time and in my absolute fear and awe, I just did not feel like having my arms ripped off of my body. So I clasped them together and prayed for the best photographs to come out of it.

A few photographs were taken and the task was done. Everyone dispersed into different directions. And wouldn’t you know it, that’s the moment that my ability to speak came back to me. But when I spoke up to thank them for taking the photograph with me and for having a rocking show, I was shouting out into thin air and nobody heard me.

Ugh…dang it!!!

I still went home that night feeling accomplished. Also feeling quite stupid that the “cone of silence” had fallen over me like that. I figured that The Mrs must’ve thought I was some kind of jerk.

It would be the last night of going out for a while as my wheelchair broke that Sunday evening. But I made sure that I looked up the band on their website and followed all of their social media accounts. I knew I wanted to see them perform again and didn’t want to miss any opportunities in doing so. And I knew that the second time that I would see them, I would be FULLY focused on them and their music to really see if I liked what I was hearing.

Their next gig was a while later for a benefit. So I quickly looked to see how much tickets were going to be.

$249 a piece!!! Holy crapolita!!!!!

Well, it WAS a benefit. So I couldn’t go.

I struggled for a full year before SXSW 2018 came around. The Mrs was playing during that time at what was being called “Kindnesspalooza.”

It was only at that time that the intimidation and fear had began to disappear because I never attempted to add them individually to social media until the night before that show in 2018.

A chicken… was I!! These four beautiful and talented women had my ticket and punched it without knowing it.

But I showed up rather early for Kindesspalooza all dressed up. I was out to make a statement with the band, and anyone else who I came into contact with.

I stopped by the corner store and bought some flowers, because apparently I am so old school that people like me rarely exist any more in the 21st Century.

Does anybody remember that you give roses to a stage performer at the end of the show?? I am guessing not.

I waited most of the morning and much of the afternoon for The Mrs to appear. I went through their merchandise table and picked up their three song sample EP as they were on the verge of releasing their EP “Five Minutes” later that year.

I took off towards a back door and sat in a stair well and plugged the three song CD into my discman and began to listen.

I wasn’t paying any attention to my surroundings and I began to cry when I was listening to a song called “Lullaby”.

Suddenly, arising the stairs came the entire band as they were moments away from taking the stage.

There I was trying to wipe away tears to hide any evidence of them ever being there, Andra asked “What are you listening to?”

I replied, “YOU! The new songs are fantastic!!”

My voice cracked when I said that, and I thought “You dummy!!” But I guarantee that none of them noticed. I barely noticed it after it had happened. I was just more focused on them NOT noticing the tears flowing from my eyes.

I followed the band back inside and forced my way towards front and center of the stage. Ready to put my full attention to this band. Even though I had been listening to their music on the Internet from either download sites or YouTube.

I felt prepared for this.

The Mrs started playing and wouldn’t you know it, I was distracted by some young model who was rolling and crawling around on the floor all around me, posting video clips to her Instagram page and various other social media sites.

I had to finally ignore the flailing woman and focus on the band. There’s a photograph of me floating around on Facebook of me watching very intently that was taken by some unknown photographer.

When the show was over, I had grown more fortitude than I had a year prior. I went up to each of the band members and requested that they autograph the CD. Then as they were writing, I pulled up the digital camera to take selfies with them.

Then I remembered that I had flowers. So I went up to Jenny to hand them to her. And she suggested that I hand them to Andra. She walked me up to Andra so that I could be “re-introduced” to her.

I handed Andra the flowers. Four beautiful roses. And I quickly disclaimed that she could do whatever she wanted to do with them and there was no intention behind them. Andra burst into tears and thanked me.

I thought I had done something wrong. But Andra was rather filled with joy and appreciation.

Throughout 2018, I would start to catch the band at other shows. I was able to build a relationship with the members of the band.

Shortly after that, I had an opportunity of a lifetime. I was invited by two of the band members to take part of their music video for “My Tribe.” But I got intimidated and flaked out. A mistake I still regret to this day. I went back to zero testicular fortitude.

What the hell is it with me and this band and losing focus and forwardness?

I would be there in attendance when they had their EP release show for “Five Minutes” in the fall of 2018. Front and center, baby!! From that point any and all shows that I have been to have been up front, if not front and center.

I attest that I got caught crying when they played “Lullaby” but I am told over and over again by them that they didn’t see it. (I think someone is bluffing!!!)

A few short weeks after that I suffered the fire.

Within hours, members of The Mrs reached out to me to find out what was going on and to ask if I needed any help. Jenny asked if a GoFundMe campaign would help and I allowed her to do that. Mandy came over with a food because I hadn’t eaten anything all day.

I noticed how quickly this band was ready to help out in any way that they could. And they would show this kindness over and over again in their own individual ways. After all, why would they do all of that for “just some fan”? Other than human kindness, that is.

In three years I would go from fan to friend to essentially family. I refer to each of them as “sisters” to this day. And I love them all as such. I am super blessed.

It is just too bad that I have repeatedly come across as some major dork. But I think that deep down, none of them mind.


The Mrs can be found on all digital downloading websites across the Internet. Their most recent releases “I Am Enough” and “The Fight” can be found on Spotify.

sxsw-2020-cancelled-coronavirus-south-by-southwest-cancel“Those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it.” ~ Anonymous

In the first time of its 34 year history, SXSW Festival is cancelled due to concerns about COVID-19.

The news came today from Mayor Steve Adler.

When asked about the ramifications of this historic decision, Adler said that “the ramifications are secondary to ensure we are safe as a community.”

In recent days, there was a petition signed by thousands of people who wanted the city of Austin to cancel it to begin with. However the following day the local newspaper would report that the city of Austin would press forward with plans of keeping SXSW active.

Looks like they bowed to the will of the public hysteria and changed their minds.

Yet I cannot help but wonder if the city of Austin is actually thinking about the long term ramifications that are going to come because of this decision.

Hotels get booked a year in advance for this event. The moment it ends one year, is when they start booking rooms for the following year. You cannot find a hotel anywhere to stay in throughout the city of Austin. It just does not happen!

Another thing that I have thought about are the local venues who were expecting a rise in sales and business.

I have read on social media that the UN-official SXSW events, some are going on as planned. But again, sales will probably not be as they were if the OFFICIAL SXSW event was going on as they are.

I’ve been told that the city of Austin has really done a number on many venues and businesses that are located in the downtown area.

For one example, a venue along infamous Sixth Street recently has been hit with a drastic rent increase. One that I have discussed in past blog posts as I have attended live music shows there.

When rent goes from $10,000 a month up to $25,000 a month, how does the city expect any business to thrive??

The cancellation of SXSW 2020 will definitely be felt by those businesses and venues who are experiencing these ridiculous rent increases.

Downtown Austin in the long run will be going through some changes.

Local people are pretty upset right now. And rightfully so. And if some how the city of Austin pushes against the UN-official events, then I suspect that all hell will break loose.

But I have to personally take a step back from all of this. 

All year long, I have been waiting for certain local bands to post their SXSW events. Whether official or unofficial. And nobody that I know of said anything. Not a word!!

So therefore, I am not planning on attending ANY events at all. Even before this cancellation was announced. In addition to that, I’m still healing from several surgeries that I went through last November. And I would not be in very good shape to attend to begin with.

So what’s the good in all of this?

I had to stop and think really hard to answer that question.

First and foremost, the traffic. I am sure that traffic will be bad enough during that time. And I am sure that people who had planned to come will be defiant and come any way. But the traffic will be far less than usual.

I wondered about the parking. Commonly on any given weekend (or any given night for that matter) parking can be anywhere from $20-30. But during SXSW Festival, parking goes $40-50 and way up!! Will the city of Austin keep things as usual or will they still continue to bleed people dry?

I personally have not heard of any cases of COVID-19 in the city of Austin. So as it stands right now, the hysteria continues to win over the minds of people. I believe that most people are smart and know how to take care of themselves and not get sick. Just like during the flu season.

There will come a day when these “secondary ramifications” will eventually down the road become “primary” and the city of Austin will be in a giant world of hurt.

492 Days

Posted: March 2, 2020 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I thought that I would take some time to create what is the first post of 2020.

It’s been a very difficult time over these recent months. So let me clue you in on what has been going on with me.

The 17th of October 2018 is where I will start. I already wrote a post shortly after this date that my apartment caught fire. Everything was lost. But thankfully nobody was seriously hurt.

I spent two full months homeless, living in a hotel and living off of donations that were graciously provided from friends and strangers alike.

In early December 2018, I had found an apartment complex who had taken the last two people who hadn’t found something more permanent. Myself and another neighbor.

It took some adapting to and eventually I would meet people and build relationships with a few of those who lived in the sixteen story high rise.

After the brutal Texas summer had passed and autumn was creeping in, I started not to feel very well at all.

Imagine being in warm weather and still having your body shake and shiver. I knew something was going on.

I thought that it was “just another infection” as I get them commonly because of the Spina Bifida.

By the 11th of November, I could no longer withstand whatever was trying to keep me down. It turns out that whatever it was… was not trying to keep me down, but rather it was trying to take me out. This infection that I had was trying to kill me.

So I went into the hospital that evening on the 11th of November.

After at least a dozen surgeries, the infection had eaten a hole on my body and was going deep towards the spine. Doctors said that just by looking at the wound, that they could barely see the bone of my spine because the hole was that deep down.

A dozen surgeries and all of them done within two weeks. The last one being an attempt to close the wound with a skin graft. And it was serious. The plastic surgeon continued to threaten to amputate my leg so that he could use the skin to cover the wound.

The amputation however did not happen.

My last surgery was on the 26th of November. Then began the difficult task of basically being in bed for 30 days without getting up or even sitting up. I had to be flat the entire time. Not a very easy thing to do.

I think that I was more upset about the fact that I was starting to spend holidays away from home and either a hospital or in a rehab hospital.

I had only been in the hospital for a week before I received a call from my brother that the apartments that had been rebuilt. ONE week!!!!

Christmas was difficult. And my birthday in January was coming soon. I had made plans for that day to go to San Antonio, Texas that day. And I was afraid that all the money that I had spent would go to waste.

In early January, I was sent to “skilled nursing.” But don’t get me started on that because I will bitch and complain from start to finish.

But I did receive some medical and wound care there. Then finally, on the day of my birthday this year, wound care said that my wounds were all gone and they had nothing to tend to.

And yet I missed my trip to San Antonio, Texas. In order to save myself from financial destruction, I had to sell the tickets to the concert that I had. I lost about $60 USD in that adventure.

Finally in the month of February, I started pushing staff about a discharge date. While I was there, I was receiving physical therapy and occupational therapy as well as the nursing care.

I pushed and I pushed hard. Asking just about every day when I would be released from both types of therapy. And I had done so until I was given a date for discharge.

I was focused to do whatever it was that I needed to do to make sure that I did in fact LEAVE on that date.

Family flew in from Atlanta to give some extra help in those first few days but after 492 days since the fire, the apartments were rebuilt and I finally returned to a brand new apartment.

And at the time of this being written, I am on my second week of being here and still trying to get used to things. I am happy to be out of the care of any medical facility and back to a life of independence as much as I had before.

I’ve learned so many things about my own personal health and I learned about how other people in my life, no matter how big or small, actually love and care about me.

But for now, it is very slow. I cannot be sitting in the wheelchair for very long. After a few hours, I have to lay down. And I am hoping that soon that I will heal from the inside as well as the outside and I can get passed this current situation and get on with life.

Going to shows for a while, are going to be very few and far between. I’ve been to two already and heavily paid the price for doing so with fatigue and pain.

Also moving forward, I’ve put out a poll on social media. The response is that I should go back to doing show reviews. So every show that I attend locally or whatever, I will be doing blog posts. But I will start fresh and create a new blog specifically for that purpose.

I’m looking forward to putting all these days behind me and leaving them to be nothing but a faded memory.