Tag Archives: Jonathan Myers

Pretty Good Year Lessons

It’s been nearly two years since I last posted a blog entry on this website.  WTH?!  Had I really been that busy to even bother posting on here?  Truth is, I never even noticed my inactive blogging slump until today, which happens to be my birthday.  I woke up this morning with a bottle of Jack feeling very introspective and reflective, logged on to this website to look back at the past year, and BOOM… my last post was about Cocktails & Couture… in January… of 2015!!!  Nearly two entire years had passed.  WTF?!

I suppose there wasn’t much to share on here from 2015 besides the usual trips and events.  I must have involuntarily gave myself a break from being a blogger last year, and saved my energy for this year and beyond.  Let’s face it, these blogs become vehicles for the egocentric and/or insecure to remind you to look at them (with the exception of the guys at NHIE Tampa who do a remarkable job highlighting Tampa Bay), so maybe I should win an award for Best Friend of 2015 for sparing friends and acquaintances from annoying posts that secretly beg for their likes and comments.

2016 was the year of change, and with change comes lessons learned.  So without dragging you thru a mundane assessment of 2015, let’s fast forward to 2016, start from Day 1, and sum up the past year with what I learned along the way.

 

January 2016

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Happy New Year!  I suppose since I slept through all New Year’s festivities ringing in 2015, that I had zero choice but to get pretty, be social, and make plans to ring in 2016.  A huge group of friends targeted the Rooftop Eve Party in downtown Tampa to celebrate.  The last Rooftop Eve Party I attended in 2014 was a drunken, blurry, hot Transylvania mess fun time, but… unlike those 2015 festivities, this year’s party was just a HOT, humid, face-melting, sweaty mess.  I was drenched in sweat by 12:15am, and headed home around 12:30am.
Lesson Learned:  Mother nature, if you’re gonna melt my face, please let it be at Sunset Music Festival or Governor’s Ball when someone on stage and behind the decks is in charge of doing the job.

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Cocktails & Couture!  One of my passion projects with Tribeca ColorSalons and annual favorite events, Cocktails & Couture finally hit its stride this year.  We went from attracting 500 attendees our  very first year, to 200 attendees our second year, to eventually bouncing back and hitting a whopping 1,200 guests in our fourth year.  This recap from 813area.com perfectly sums up the event.  Check it out here: Cocktails & Couture Makes Tampa Feel Like A Big City & Save The Date: January 14, 2017!
Lesson Learned:  Never give up on something you believe in.  The receipts will be there as long as your personal passion still is.

February 2016

Puero Rico!  My annual February trip to Puerto Rico meant more than the coconut cocktails consumed on the beach, the rum guzzled at the Bacardi Factory, and seeing Jack Ü perform for the first time.  Neil brought along bestie Ian Michael for the San Juan adventure, and his story, his drive, his fearlessness, and his heart melted my heart (not my face) when he first shared it with me on that flight down to the  51st U.S. state.  Check out The Human Hug Project
Lesson Learned:  A hug can save the world.

 

April 2016

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Festa Italiana!  Bellinis, limoncello, pasta, meatballs, more bellinis, more limoncello, sfingi, ravioli, er… Jameson Irish Whiskey shots (?).  Another Italian Festival, another Sunday Funday on steroids.  Save The Date: April 9, 2017
Lesson Learned:  Okay, my bartender friends.  I confess… I really do enjoy Jameson!

 

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Coachella, baby!  Words cannot describe the magnitude of dreaminess that is the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio Valley, California.  Those who have been understand the magic that the entire weekend brings.  If you are a fan of music, fashion, art, culture, and good vibes, a ticket to Coachella is like securing an exclusive golden Wonka ticket… well, except that there are 100,000 other exclusive ticket holders.This year was my third year attending, but certainly not my last.  Coachella has since been upgraded to Annual Must Attend Event on my Google Calendar.
Lesson Learned:  You cannot download a live music experience.

 

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Pride & Passion NOW IN TECHNICOLOR!  I served on the Tampa Museum of Art’s Pride & Passion steering commitee for five years, before finally becoming Chair this past year.  And as Chair, I recruited my own Avengers team of committee members, and put my heart, soul, sweat and tears into overseeing this event from top to bottom during the 9 months of planning.  This year’s Pride & Passion became the first to completely sell out days before the event, while also going down as the most attended event in the history of the Tampa Museum of Art.  ::drops mic::  After six colorful years and literally ending on the highest note possible, I decided that my time with Pride & Passion had finally come to a wonderful and fruitful conclusion.
Lession Learned:  You’re only as good as your team… and I made sure to surround myself with the most talented & hard-working crew.

 

May 2016

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Viva The RITZ Ybor!  The RITZ Ybor, my workplace and my home for nearly the past decade came under new management this past summer.  Changes.  Changes.  Changes.  This was nothing new.  My entire time working there for nine years was constantly filled with changes.  While I am still working at the best mid-size concert venue in town, my role has since changed, I had to say goodbye to some coworkers, and meet & work with a brand new team.
Lesson Learned: “Change is the law of life.  And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”  …and I don’t want to get left behind.

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June 2016

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Governor’s Ball!  A music festival in NYC during the summer time?  Yes, please.  What has become an every other year event has since transcended to being another Annual Must Attend Event.  Sure I get to cross artists, bands and dj’s off of my Must See List.  And yeah, I get to galavant across Manhattan and Brooklyn eating and drinking everything in sight, but most  importantly, I get to spend the weekend with old dear friends while (always guaranteed to) meeting new ones.
Lesson Learned:  Things are always constantly changing, and just spending one second in New York City will always reconfirm that.

August 2016

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Jonathan L. Myers.  I was texted the news.  I did not believe the news.  I read the news on social media.  I called to confirm the news, hoping that it was all some very hurtful and mean joke.  The news was true.  And my heart was ripped apart.

It still feels like Jonathan is on-duty overseas again, and there will be some sudden welcome back party that causes everyone to call out from work for an entire week.  I thought that making my way to his service in Iowa would bring personal closure to this tragic event, and that I would finally be able to accept that he is gone.
Lesson Learned:  I used to get really sad whenever past photos or stories of Jonathan would pop up in my feed.  Now, I smile knowing how lucky I was to share and spend those very moments with him.

September 2016

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Franklin Manor!  My friends Franco and Dave reached out to me over the summer about joining their new venue, a downtown social drinkery called Franklin Manor, to handle and manage their events.  I was intrigued and flattered, but did not know if I would be able to make everything work with two existing jobs, an unnecessary travel schedule, and my growing list of Netflix shows that I’ve yet to binge-watch.  (Truth!)  I accepted  this new opportunity that has since become a very fun 2.5 months (and counting) adventure.
Lesson Learned:  One can never have too many homes.

October 2016

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Gina & Vince Get Married!  My first trip to Chicago ten years ago, I met Gina and Vince.  At the time, Gina and Vince were hanging out.  And over the entire course of a decade, I’ve seen Gina and Vince transition from hanging out to dating to moving in and nesting to welcoming a beautiful daughter into the world followed by an adorable son.  This past October, I finally saw Gina and Vince get married.
Lesson Learned:  The longer you wait, the more you appreciate, because anything worth having is definitely worth waiting for… especially when you have a smile on your face the entire time.

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All Hallow’s Ball!  I decided to do something different and dress up for Tampa’s biggest & loudest, annual Halloween party.  I nearly forgot that it had been a whopping 12 years or so since I last attended the All Hallow’s Ball, hence my last minute begging and scouring for an invitation and tickets to the party.  And unlike the 12 year absence from the party, I probably lasted a mere 30-minutes or so at the celebration due to a extreme hangri-ness.
Lesson Learned:  I don’t have a lesson learned here to share.  I just wanted another excuse to share a photo my Snapchat Filter Flower Crown that I created by myself.

November 2016

…and here we are today!  I am officially in my late-30s.  According to some online surveys, I am older.  (Damn you random survey that forced me to check that 35 & up box!)  I feel wiser.  I feel good.  I look good (solely judging by the surprised reactions when I revealed my age to a handful of friends.)  I also feel like I give less of a shit with a lot of the shit that used to drive me nuts.  (Has my OCD been cured?)  With Jonathan’s sudden passing, I’ve realized that if you aren’t happy with something in life, change it, fix it, or shut the hell up and deal with it.  Life is way too precious, short and unexpected to be stressing, worrying, and being unhappy.

I used to believe that happiness wasn’t something you find, but something you decide.
Lesson Learned:  Happiness is making the most of what you got, and realizing that you already have it all.

“Hold onto nothing as fast as you can.  Well… still… pretty good year.”  -Tori Amos

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The Event of 2013!

Okie Group 07

The beginning of summer.  The time of year when your AC thermostat lowers while your electric bill rises.  The start of beach season and sunbathing.  And that time of year when Pride & Passion, arguably one of thee top events in town takes place.

The 8th Annual Pride & Passion was held on Saturday, May 18, 2013 at the Tampa Museum of Art, which this wonderful event has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for each year.  In the four years that I have attended Pride & Passion, it has rapidly become one of Tampa’s signature fashion events known for its pomp, flash and extravagant entertainment and decor.  This year’s event was no exception and easily tops previous celebrations in grandeur and eminence.

This year’s Pride & Passion also happens to be the first that I sat as the Public Relations, Marketing & Host Chair.  So it was fulfilling to not only attend this kick-ass party but to also help plan this event with the rest of the fabulous Steering Committee members.  If you missed out on this year’s festivities or have (gasp) never attended a Pride & Passion, mark your calendars for May 2014 and make plans to be there!

Pride & Passion 2013Okie Boys Group 01Cake Areis Rayda 01Shane Aimee Mike 01Group 01Group 03Okie Boys Group 04Okie Jonathan Cheri Linley JocelynOkie Jess 02Okie Linley 02Okie Linley Billy 01Okie Jocelyn 01

Photography by Radko Keleman
Select Photography by Todd Montgomery & Ruslana.Studio
Noticeable Photography by Okie Tilo’s cellphone

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…and in dedication to my fan that became the it-prop of Pride & Passion 2013:

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Commencement to Be

Robby HS Graduation

It seems like just yesterday that the above photo was taken… me watching 18-year-old Robby graduate from High School. 

And then just two weeks ago…

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…Robby graduated from college and moved to Fort Liquordale!  Huh?  WTF?!  Where the @#$% is time going?!

Robby officially became a USF Alumni, and relocated down south with A.J.  To celebrate this achievement, he hosted a nearly 8-hour bar crawl that terrorized my liver and checking account sauntered through the hot spots of Ybor City.  And to celebrate this very same achievement my way, I will post 5 of My Favorite Things about Robby.  Let’s begin:

#1:  Paula Deen… I mean, Robby introduced me to his famous McDonalds Apple Pie & Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae concoction-in-a-bowl dessert.

#2:  Robby forced me to watch the Game of Thrones Series Recap.  After I stopped watching the show during its snoozefest second season, he promised that the current Season 3 was worth watching the show again.  A mere 10 minutes of my life and I am officially all caught up on Game of Thrones.  Bring on the damn dragons!

#3:  Robby watched Madonna’s Truth or Dare documentary and afterwards, remarked that he totally understood why my friends and I act the way we do.  (Now that I think about it… was that even a compliment??!)

#4:  Robby’s random insightful but hilarious text messages like the one he sent when describing his first impressions of being a new resident to the Fort Lauderdale area.  See below:

Robby Text Message

and last but not least…

As two gigantic music fanatics, Robby and I are constantly trying to introduce new and great songs to one another.  The “oh I’ve already heard this before” and the “I’m not really feeling this one” do often pop-up in our conversation.  So when a great song is truly introduced to one of us by the other, it becomes a mini-event.  When Robby first played “Blood” by The Middle East, I instantly fell head over heels for that song and had to immediately add it to my Current Favorites Playlist on Spotify.  To my surprise, the song was already on there.  So Robby playing “Blood” wasn’t my virgin time hearing it.  I still don’t remember ever adding that song to my playlist.  Nor did I ever figure out when exactly I first heard it either.  But just like mine and Robby’s close friendship, there really is no explanation for something that was meant to be.  Oh and #5: Robby has great taste in music.

Congratulations again to my old soul friend for graduating!

Robby Graduation ZOYA

Photo by Branden Hollywood

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Festa Italiana 2013

Festa Italiana 2013

The 16th Annual Festa Italiana took place in Ybor City on Sunday, April 7, 2013.  Festivities officially kicked off at The Italian Club’s Wines of Italy event the Thursday prior, and the celebration continued each day until the main event at Centennial Park.  My work is a huge supporter and sponsor of Festa Italiana which amusingly began as my bosses’ picnic for their friends and family.  Today, a staggering 10,000 patrons attend their lil’ Italian festival picnic.

Way before I ever became involved with and worked for Festa,  I remember loving the event which can best be described as an overwhelming experience of food, drinks, culture and people.  To now officially be a part of a local tradition that honors and preserves a culture’s heritage and traditions is rewarding and very worthwhile.

Viva Festa Italiana!

Festa 2013 Group 1Festa 2013 Group 2Festa 2013 Group 3Photos courtesy of Radko Keleman Photography

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I have a slight obsession with Olly Murs whose Right Place, Right Time album has been receiving ample play on my iPod.  Olly rose to fame on the UK version of The X-Factor, and conquered the European charts before storming American shores. His current single “Troublemaker” is rapidly racing up the Billboard charts, and he’ll be playing at The RITZ Ybor next week Wednesday, May 8, 2013.

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Concrete Jungle

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New York City.  The city that never sleeps.  The Big Apple.  The capital of the universe.  The most annoying city ever.

Everybody seems to be moving to New York City.  Everybody seems to be in love with New York City.  I used to believe that people my age only moved to the City to fulfill some delusional Carrie Bradshaw fantasy of shopping, sexting and sipping Cosmos.  Those same people weren’t factoring in the reality of it all: sardine-can sized apartments that were older than Betty White with a gazillion dollar monthly rental rate, the overcrowded streets, the dirty streets and the long waits for just about everything.  I was not a fan.  I was never a fan.  I only ever visited NYC to spend time with my real life Friends who weren’t named Chandler, Rachel, Joey, Phoebe, Monica or Ross.

Last month, I decided to fly up to New York to celebrate Jason’s 30th birthday.  It had been nearly 3 years since my last visit, and Jason turning 30 was a huge deal.  I convinced Jonathan, Jess and Areis to join in on the travel fun, and voilà a weekend group trip was born.

I’m not quite sure what specifically changed from my previous trips to this past one, but I kinda fell in love with ol’ New York.  I’ve always been surrounded by the best company when there.  I’ve always ate fabulously and drank and danced the night away.  The people that I’ve met during each visit were always really cool and interesting.  Instead of always asking “why does everyone love New York City?“…   I should’ve been asking the REAL question all along…

…”what’s there NOT to love about New York City?

From the limo ride and fancy dinner at Morimoto NYC to the 4-hour timeframe it required to travel from JFK to HK to the danceathon that occurred at Industry Bar, I had such so much fun that I did not stop to take one photo with Jason or Gary or any of the other NYC crew.

New York City.  The city that never sleeps.  The Big Apple.  The capital of the universe.  The city that one can’t help but fall in love with.



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My latest musical obsession is British songstress Jessie Ware‘s debut album titled Devotion. Check out her latest single “Imagine It Was Us” which is pure and unabashed 1990s pop nostalgia and magic.

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The JOKIE 7th Avenue Strut 2013

Jokie 2013

Jocelyn and I are no strangers to the historic entertainment district of Tampa, Florida known as Ybor City.  If Jocelyn and I were pugs, all of Ybor City would be our marked territory: We have eaten here.  We have drank there.  We have partied here and there to the front, to the back, to the right, to the left, to the left – everything you own in a box to the left, sideways, diagonally, zigzag and back.  So when the opportunity arose, and after heavy suggestion for both J and I to officially show our backyard to our friends that were strangers to Ybor City, we immediately devised a plan.  Born was The JOKIE 7th Avenue Strut.

Here’s how it worked:

The Hosts:  JOKIE…  and for those readers lacking any common sense: just as Brad + Angelina = Brangelina and Ben + Jennifer = Bennifer before them, Jocelyn + Okie = JOKIE!

The Players:  John Fontana (Jocelyn’s leading man, Material Boy and Italian stallion), Kali (Jocelyn’s work baby and Hyde Park Village heir-apparent), Andy (Kali’s main squeeze and boo) and Lorena (no stranger to Ybor City, but a friend in need of an Ybor City refresher after her recent two-month stint in Los Angeles)

The Plan:  The Hosts must show the Players key Ybor City destinations, with stops at JOKIE’s signature hang-out locations.  May the odds be in their favor!

Jokie 2013 Gaybor

The Details:  We began the evening with ear candling (yes, ear candling!… don’t ask) at mi casa and then strutted on over to The Columbia for a pitcher of their famous Spanish sangria, James Joyce for a Framboise, Bernini for 1/2-priced dinner entrees and $2 mango martinis, Tampa Bay Brewing Company for the sampler beer tray, The Bricks for an art show and Pisco Sours, Liquid Tampa for a twirl, Bradley’s on Seventh for a whirl, Reservoir Bar for second-hand smoke inhalation and a beer, Hamburger Mary’s for the 10pm Drag Show, Hurricane pitchers and a photo with Mark & Carrie (above), The Castle for dungeon photo-ops and a vodka cranberry minus the cranberry, MC Film Fest for a lil’ shopping, The Honey Pot for shots of Patron and dancing and G.Bar for more dancing but this time with blurry vision and slurred speech.

It was indeed a long night, but the Players threw their hands up in exhausted and inebriated defeat and called it a night.  The JOKIE 7th Avenue Strut failed to reach the final three destinations: an ice shot at CZAR, a hookah at Zoya and a slice of pizza at New York, New York Pizza / Shepherd’s pie at The Dog’s Bollocks.

The Players (minus a few still recovering from the night before) reconvened the next morning at Gaspar’s Grotto for the Booze Cruise Brunch and to officially conclude the inaugural JOKIE 7th Avenue Strut 2013.

Conclusion:  While the Players showed bravery, dedication and very admiral attempts at hanging with the Hosts, and as much fun was had by all…  another JOKIE Strut must and will be planned at a later date and time.

Special Thanks:  Jocelyn and I would like THANK all of our friends who we texted, messaged & called for any special favors, along with their wonderful staff for showing our Players true Ybor City hospitality at its very finest!

Who run this mutha?  For all-intended purposes of this blog post, please press play and replace the words “WORLD” with “YBOR” and “GIRLS” with “JOKIE”…  “Run The World (Girls)” by Beyonce

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Aquarius Triumvirate

Jess 2013 Bday Okie 2

My dear friend Jess a.k.a. the reigning Queen of running late celebrated her 27th Birthday at Martini Republic in downtown Tampa and at CineBistro in Hyde Park Village over the weekend.

…in all actuality, the entire weekend was spent celebrating Aquarius birthdays.  Three birthdays in one night to be exact.

It was a Saturday night.  My favorite gal-pal Jocelyn and I had plans to start off at her college buddy Mark’s birthday at Mangroves, followed by her sorority sister Michelle’s birthday party at what could only be described as mine and every other red-blooded human being’s dream mansion on Davis Island, and ending with Jess’s birthday celebration at Martini Republic.  Jocelyn and I were no strangers to the party-hopping routine, and have in fact become experts on the subject. (For proof, READ: Legally Fabulous post from January 2011.)

Mark 2013 Bday Jocelyn

BIRTHDAY PARTY #1:  I’ve attended quite a few events with Jocelyn where the statement “all of my friends from UT from back in the day will be there” accompanied her invitation.  Those events are always a good time and Jocelyn’s “old school” crew is always welcoming and friendly.  Mark’s 40th birthday party at Mangroves was no exception.  You can’t help but enjoy hearing any group of longtime friends reminisce with past stories that cement their deep-rooted bond and enrich their history with one another.  (Fun Fact:  According to all of the stories I’ve heard at these blast to the past parties, Jocelyn was just as legally fabulous as a college freshman as she is today!)

Michelle 2013 Bday Jocelyn

BIRTHDAY PARTY #2:  On the way from one 40th birthday party to the next, Jocelyn commented on how “40 is the new 30.”  I used to dismiss those type of statements as something we all say to ourselves and one another as a way to help cure our fears of aging, but Jocelyn is 100% correct: getting older just means more money, better jobs, more mistakes made to learn from and an authentic understanding on who your true friends in life are.

Jocelyn’s sorority sister and college cohort Michelle celebrated her 40th birthday party that evening at her house mansion on Davis Island.  The party was a Hawaiian luau themed soiree equipped with a live band and performers, tiki torches, a balloon entrance arch the size of The Hulk, catering and dessert stations… the works.  As evidenced in the photo above, Jocelyn and I only felt it fitting to pose in corny photos as if we were honeymooners aboard a Carnival cruise ship that actually had running water and working toilets.  Aloha!

Jess 2013 Bday Martini Group

BIRTHDAY PARTY #3 and the final celebration of the night for Jess’s 27th birthday.  Her birthday party was a two-parter this year: Saturday night at Martini Republic and Sunday afternoon painfully watching the dreadful Identity Thief movie at CineBistro.

It’s hard to believe that I met Jess five years ago when she was just 22-years-old, new to the Tampa Bay area from Illinois and also newly separated from her husband.  We immediately hit it off when our mutual friend Harry introduced us that one summer night, and we’ve only been going strong ever since.  Seriously, I love that girl despite the truth that she runs 30-minutes late for every planned event, well except her 27th birthday this year.  But of course.

Happy Birthday Jess & all of the other Aquarii in the world!

Jess 2013 Bday Cinebistro Group

 

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“Losing You” by Solange

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You’re Not Alone

KVBS Bday 2013 Okie KristinKristin, my best friend that I’ve known the longest, celebrated her 33rd birthday at CHEAP in Tampa last Friday with her most favorite friends.  And in honor of her palindrome birthday, I present three FUN FACTS about me and Mrs. Schmidt:

#1:  POP DIVA CONCERTS & OUR FRIENDSHIP DO NOT MIX WELL…

Britney Spears’ Oops… I Did It Again Tour 2000:  A huge fight over post-its an hour before Brit Brit’s Oops… I Did It Again show nearly derailed our plans to see the Mouseketeer.

Janet Jackson’s All For You Tour 2001:  Our first time seeing Janet Jackson became my first time seeing Janet Jackson, because Kristin and I once again got in a huge fight over Sandy Frink.  (Side note: 10 years later, we finally saw Janet together at her Number Ones, Up Close and Personal show.)

Madonna’s Re-Invention Tour 2004:  We drove to Sebring, Florida to be the first in line to purchase tickets to what would’ve been her first Madonna concert, but I wound up taking someone else because Kristin and I got in a silly fight over who’s the Rhoda and who’s the Mary.  (Side note: Last year, we finally saw Madonna together at her MDNA show in Chicago.)

KVBS Bday 2013 Kristin Cake

#2:  KRISTIN AND I HAVE MATCHING TATTOOS…  and matching tramp stamps to boot!  Sue me.  I was 21-years-old.  I was in in Ybor City with her, and we both randomly made the decision after knocking back a few Jack Daniels’ drinks.  I always told myself that I would never ever get a tattoo unless it was original, designed by moi and had personal meaning.  So the Japanese symbol for “God” may not be original nor was it designed by me, but it does carry a lot of personal meaning because Kristin and I are both trashy and tramp stamped branded with it.

#3:  MINE AND KRISTIN’S THEME SONG IS…  no not that one Madonna song.  And no, it’s not a song by Britney Spears.

Every great friendship has that one song that when randomly heard or played manages to make you instantly think of the other person.  For some reason, Olive’s “You’re Not Alone” (below) is our song.  I do not exactly know how or remember when it was decided that “You’re Not Alone” would be blessed as the one-song soundtrack to our 22-year-old friendship.  Yet everytime I hear that 90’s electronic-trance-pop masterpiece, I immediately think of Kristin.  (And no we both weren’t sporting JNCO pants and sucking on lollipops when this song became our anthem in the 90’s.)




Happy Birthday Kristin!  Click on image below to enlarge photo:

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The Year-End Lie

New Years Eve 2012 with Jonathan, Angela & Mike

New Years Eve 2012 with Jonathan & Harry

New Years Eve 2012 Party #1: Mike Hammonds’

Here is the LIE in print as written January of last year:  “I never had a kick-ass New Year’s Eve ever.  I’ve done the whole “go hard or go home” partying, I’ve dabbled in the intimate & lowkey evening with close friends, I’ve even slept through the countdown to midnight.  I just never had THAT New Year’s Eve night that should go down in my personal history books.

Each and every single year, it seems that my friends and I are scrambling last minute to figure out something to do.  We toy with the idea of doing something together, only to be separated from one another on the big night.  The two times that I were with my close friends were the only two nights that were actually memorable.

This particular year, it was the same ol’ New Year’s song & dance routine.  “What are you doing?  Where are you going?  Do you wanna do this?  Should we just go here?” …and on and on.

So, I’ve decided to to host my own New Year’s Eve party this year, that is if the world is still spinning after December 21, 2012.  It is something that I always casually mentioned doing, but kept putting off and never put into action.  So you all read it here first: there is proof in writing that I am throwing a New Year’s party in 2012!”

New Years Eve 2012 with Jess

New Years Eve 2012 Party #2: Jess’s

I lied.  I did not host a New Years Eve party as promised, mainly because I was suffering from event going & planning fatigue that accompanies the oversaturated Fall season (birthday, Thanksgiving and a dozen Christmas parties).  Also, I had already made plans to fly out to California to meet Neil.  When those travel plans fizzled, I succumbed to the usual no-plans for New Years Eve slump.  Staying home to watch the Ball Drop (or sleep through it)?  I’ve done it before and would not mind having to do it again.  Luckily, two close friends decided to throw intimate gatherings at their houses which became my New Years Eve 2012 plans.

I started the year off with a lie, and ended the year with that same lie… but everything in between those lies were fun and memorable times.  2012 was one of my favorite years in recent memory, and that is the TRUTH!

So here is this year’s lie promise, I promise to host a New Years Party in 2013 have plans for New Years Eve 2013 far in advance this year.  Happy New Year everybody!


Taryn Manning – Send Me Your Love (featuring Sultan + Ned Shepard)

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Whoomp There It Is!

Skate RITZ Group

Last week, I went to my work’s second holiday party for The RITZ Ybor.  Unlike The Radiant Group’s holiday mixer with stone crab claws and champagne, this work soiree was a 1980’s / 1990’s-themed dress-up party at the Town & Country Skateworld with Chex mix, veggie dip and brownies.   My sole responsibility for the function was to dress in costume and to provide an iPod filled with hit songs from the 80’s and 90’s.  So I channeled my inner Bret Michaels: guy-liner, bandana and all, and assembled what I truly felt is the best musical soundtrack to those two fun decades.

One thing that I failed to truly realize when creating that night’s iPod playlist was the extremely diverse and abundant musical landscape (and fashion) that symbolized the 90’s: the grundge era (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden), the power balladeers (Boyz II Men, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey), gangsta & mafioso rap (Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac, Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg), corny dance pop (Ace of Base, Right Said Fred, Vanilla Ice), the Lilith Fair ladies (Jewel, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan), the pop rock bands (Matchbox Twenty, Third Eye Blind, The Wallflowers), Florida booty music (2 Live Crew, Tag Team, 95 South) and so forth.

This year’s work holiday party #2 was a blast, and I am very fortunate and blessed to have a cool job working with some amazing individuals.  How fitting was it to celebrate one of the best decades ever with them.  Happy Holidays everyone!

SAMSUNGSkate Okie Corina Rod Jess

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One of my favorite songs from the early 90’s…  “Set Adrift on Memory Bliss” by PM Dawn

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