Brass Goggles Saturday, Aug 1 2009 

Sean in the Goggles

1 August 2009
Lammas Day
Happy Birthday, Kimbelle!

An absolutely glorious day here at Bristol, and yet a lackluster crowd. It was small-ish, and it took them a very long time to “warm up” and seem to be having fun. Our sales were neither awful or fabulous—just pretty average. But, we know how to have fun, regardless.

Steampunk is all the rage right now, of course. And, at Pendragon Costumes we are scratching that itch was a fabulous new item—a Victorian-style corset, made of top grain leather, with swivel buckles at the front busk, and laces up the back. Yum—mmyy! At Swashbuckler, the smaller store owned by Excalibur Leather, our dear friends next door, they are selling brass goggles—the obligatory steampunk accessory. Maron bought his pair today, and this photo shows those goggles bringing out the best in Sean at dinner tonight!

Much like Friday didn’t seem like Friday, today didn’t seem like Saturday. We kept saying it felt like a Sunday. That could be due to the smaller crowd, or the lack of make-ready work we had to do this morning . . . or perhaps it’s ’cause we snuck a bloody mary into our Saturday morning? ūüėČ

(I finished off the Zing Zang bottle and requested that a couple of folks try to get to a liquor store for more before coming to work tomorrow—I just found out there are five bottles coming my way tomorrow! Sweet! Won’t have to worry about that again for a week or two!! Thanks Drew & Renee and Sean & Amber!)

~MB

Rio Mambo’s and Royal Falcon Saturday, Mar 28 2009 

Rio Mamba Dinner

27 March 2009

Happy Birthday, Mama!

After a long work week and a solid day of sewing, six o’clock finally came! Ronnie had carefully organized a gathering of our friends from back in our comic book retailng days! Thanks largely to Facebook, we had all found each other online, and learned that so many of us were once again (or still) living nearby. We met at Rio Mambo’s—a delicious, if not somewhat over-priced Tex Mex place on the west side of Fort Worth. We had been there once before and the most noteable thing about the meals there is that they really do have margaritas “the size of my head!” Kyle and I shared one tonight!¬† We also shared this delicious plate which involved cheese enchiladas, two eggs, fajita beef¬†strips and fresh avocado!¬† Again, I have to end a paragraph by saying “yum!”

It was really wonderful to see so many beloved familiar faces. These are folks, many of whom were part of our daily or at least weekly lives. Customers, employees, artists, collectors . . . friends. I am so grateful for the opportunity to get together with all of them, and I look forward to such a gathering not being so rare!

After dinner, Kyle and I took advantage of being already on the west side of town, and popped on over to the Royal Falcon to grab a pint and hear another old friend perform. Again, thanks to Facebook, I’d gotten the word that Rodger Harrison was going to be “playing¬†with by himself” tonight at the Falcon. (His promo poster was worded exactly that way and it amused me!)¬† So, despite the horribly smoky-smelling air, we ordered a round of Twisted Thistle (a great little brew from one of our favourites–Belhaven) and it wasn’t long before we were hugging and chatting with old friends.¬† Rodger even noticed us from the stage, and thanked us for coming in the middle of his set!¬† Talk about knowing we did the right thing by going there!¬† We grabbed a table, and during our tenure there, we¬† got¬†in some quality time with Matthew, Steve, Elaine, Randy, Craig and Deanna!¬† By t¬†he time we finally had to pull our plug on the night, we’d moved to a bigger table and been joined by Denise and Ken and Kelly and Bert!¬†¬† It probably goes without saying that the conversation was lively and very amusing.¬†¬†It was a great evening.¬† I only wish we didn’t have to go home from such things smelling like an ash tray!¬† <sigh>

But, clothes and hair wash, and life is short.¬† Too short, and too uncertain to pass up opportunities like tonight afforded us.¬† We went from one wonderful gathering of old friends to another, and I consider myself truly blessed to have such amazing people,¬† and such happy memories in my life.¬† Here’s to making more happy memories with nights such as this one.¬† Slainte!

~MB

“Do I *have* to put up with this Dog?” Tuesday, Nov 18 2008 

"Do I have to put up with this Dog?"

17 November 2008

I swear I heard her say it.  She was sitting there, minding her own business, and this dog just kept sticking his nose in her business.  Rest assured, she swatted him more than once!

It’s actually quite the game they play, Artemis and Cormac.¬† ‘Tia plays too, but more independently—she does laps around the room with her Kong in her mouth.¬† She really doesn’t bother with Artemis until she leaves the room, then she gives chase.¬† But, it’s always Cormac who gets the kitty paw prints on his nose!

It was Monday.  Photos of my furry critter kids is all you get.

~MB

Cormac Watching Saturday, Nov 15 2008 

Cormac Watching

14 November 2008

Give this dog some sheep or ducks or something, and he’d be a force to be reckoned with— but in our suburban neighbourhood, the frisbee will have to do.

I knew today was going to be hectic, so I figured I’d get my photography done early this morning, so I wouldn’t run the risk of getting all the way through the day with no pictures.¬† Good thing I did!

Kyle took a few minutes this morning to throw the frisbee for the dogs, and I shot a few fun photos of that playtime—Cormac is quite the jumper!

One very exciting thing about today—we’re at TRF, and our dogs aren’t in the kennel!¬† They are at home, with our dear friends Allyson and Rod, probably being somewhat spoiled as I write this!¬† When Ally suggested that they could¬†stay with the dogs, we were thrilled!¬†¬†It was such a generous offer that¬†we simply couldn’t pass it up—although we’re still not sure how to¬†adequately thank them!

~MB

Happy Birthday, Kyle! Monday, Nov 3 2008 

Happy Birthday, Kyle!

31 October 2008
Samhain/Halloween

Happy Birthday, Kyle!

Birthdays are wonderful, aren’t they?¬† An excuse to be a little bit decadent—sleep late, eat and drink rather freely with no calorie counting, be nice to yourself, and just generally relax and have fun.¬† Today was such a day for Kyle.¬† I gave Kyle his little gift I¬†got him—an awesome fez for him to wear at Dickens as we play parlour games in the hotel!¬†We went to VOTE—early voting was a breeze—and he was generous enough to fit in a trip to the grocery store in preparation for the weekend, but other than that, it was a pretty relaxed day.¬† I managed to be ready to leave for TRF by about two-thirty, and by three o’clock, we’d dropped off the pups and were on the way.¬†

We got down there in plenty of time to pick up our product, off-load everything at the booth, and even unpack.¬† Then, we headed back out, and met friends at Rancho Grande for Tex Mex and margaritas.¬† Kelly, George and Delaenya, and Donny and Mary all shared Kyle’s birthday dinner time with us.¬† Mary presented Kyle with one of his Guinness cupcakes and made the event complete!¬† We were back at the booth watching a movie at a reasonable time, and I¬†hope it was a good day for him.¬†¬† I suspect the “birthday” theme will carry throughout the weekend, too!

~MB

The Crooked Claw! Wednesday, Sep 24 2008 

23 September 2008
Even though I’m still feeling generally icky, I can almost (not quite) always be talked into beer at my favourite watering hole – No Frills Grill. Brett & Jill texted us earlier in the day with the invite “If u r up 2 it, nfg?” How could I possibly refuse such eloquence? ūüôā
We found, while there, that tomorrow (today, as of this writing) the 24th of September is their one year anniversary! So, we took a bunch of silly photos to help commemorate that momentous occasion.
Beware the Claw!
Here Brett is threatening Jill with his patented “Crooked Claw” hand hold and she is just simply “terrified”! ūüôā
Happy Anniversary Brett & Jill!
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 24 September 2008 )

Listening to:
White Wedding by Billy Idol
from VH1 100 Greatest Songs

(I didn’t even realize as I was typing this, that I was listening to White Wedding)

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.4 sec (2/5)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Joe and the Polka Dotted Umbrella Thursday, Sep 18 2008 

13 September 2008
Not knowing what Ike was going to do, we waited until the very last moment to decide & purchase our tickets for Grapefest. We go every year, and every year we enjoy it. This year, it was a different style of enjoyment than previous outings. Ike had scared off most everyone, and of the 700 tickets available for the "People’s Choice" tasting, only 151 were sold. It was practically deserted. Of course, this didn’t bode well for the vendors, and in fact, most vendors didn’t even bother to show for this rainy, windy Saturday. I’m hoping the previous Thursday & Friday nights and Sunday were better for everyone. But, of course, we are perfectly capable of making our own fun, and we did.
Joe
This is my friend, Joe, proving that with imagination and a who-cares attitude anything is possible. Even fun at a mostly empty wine festival during a hurricane.
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 17 September 2008 )

Listening to:
Relight My Fire (UK Radio Version) by Lulu & Take That
from The Best Party…Ever!

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.02 sec (1/50)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 80
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire, auto mode

Four Friends and a Baby Monday, Sep 15 2008 

Four Friends and a Baby

13 September 2008

Despite the weather forecast, and a sense of impending doom, we chose to hold with our plans to attend Grapefest.¬† This little wine festival plays host to the Texas People’s Choice Wine Awards and we go each September and have a great time.¬†¬†Afraid the storm might put an early end to outdoor events, we bought our tickets for the 11 a.m. tasting, and aimed to get to the festival pretty much as it was opening.¬†

It was lightly raining even as we left the house, but we were armed with umbrellas and boots and rain jackets and hats, and off we went!¬† We parked close to the main gate, and were immediately struck with how terribly few people there were.¬† Then, we realized, there weren’t really many vendors, either!¬† We can totally make our own fun, no matter what, so we weren’t really too bothered by it . . . just sad.¬† After all, if we’d been at a tent show in the path of a tropical storm, we’d have¬†packed up and gone home, too.¬† Hopefully, Thursday night and Friday were good for those folks, and the weekend wasn’t a total wash.¬†

The People’s Choice Tastings were happening, rain or shine, and we had a great time.¬† As planned, we met Starr and Joe and Troy and Alex, and Rod, just in time to get to our tasting on time.¬† With the weather-shy folks staying home, and the resulting crowd so small, we had plenty of time to taste as many wines as we really could–no standing in lines.¬† We liked that part!¬†

My photo is of our little group (minus Troy who was off visiting with a girl!) as we walked down the street after the tasting.  A couple of other cute photos include one of Joe and Alex, and one of Rod and Kyle.

The wind and rain were a constant part of the day, but it never got bad enough to chase us away.¬† We did go inside for burgers at Wilhoite’s, but that was mostly because there were no street vendors selling much of anything!¬† Instead of shopping craft booths–again there really weren’t but two or three—we shopped the little stores on Main Street and just enjoyed each other’s company.¬† When the walking had gotten the best of most of us, we decided it was time for an early dinner at Esparza’s, a fun little Tex Mex place we try to go to most years.¬† It was still daylight when we finally said goodbye and walked to our vehicles.¬† That was unusual, but we were tired and happy—just like we ought to be at the end of a festival day!

I took this photo of the beautiful hurricane-generated clouds on the way home.

We heard from a few folks down Houston way, that had come through Hurricane Ike relatively unscathed.¬† We will continue to check in with other folks tomorrow.¬† News coverage is still rather uninformative regarding Galveston—people aren’t really back there, yet.¬† We are hopeful, in that it seems the storm wasn’t as bad as we’d feared it would be.

~MB