Thursday, April 30, 2015

May gave us Golden thus we Celebrate

As you may have heard, May not only has flowers after April showers, it’s also the month that gave us the greatness that is GOLDEN.

I’m not saying she’s forcing me to write this, cause she’s not but seriously she would if she lived closer to me, but alas she does not. Frankly the only bad thing about our friendship is that neither of us have created a portal that would allow us to move back and forth between my house and hers, which is really a damn shame and I blame science. Then again I also think we should build a giant oscillating fan on the tip of Florida so that we can blast hurricanes back out into the Gulf of Mexico but no one wants to take that one on either. COME ON SCIENCE WHAT THE HELL !!!! GET ON THAT too!!!! I mean really what ARE they doing with their time, grant money, and talents. I believe that the portal needs to be a priority and would totally solve so many problems. Travel time would be shorter, so people would see more of the world; awesome things would become accessible to more people; Twitter friends could connect in person and no one would care about the price of gas…damn it always comes back to gas doesn’t it.


Wait …. Um…. This was supposed to be about Golden …. Must get back on track. You may be wondering why I’m sending this on the Month Long Celebration of Golden Eve well that’s because during the epic start of this holiday extravaganza (May 1st) I’ll be getting myself ready to go to New Orleans for the weekend. I’m going to Jazz Fest and it’s going to be AWESOME! The main attraction in Sir Elton John, but there are a ton of other great bands playing on Saturday, the only day that I can go due to an ever ending insane work schedule. By the way that’s another use of the portal, I could have gone to Jazz Fest when ever I wanted, I could go to a Broadway show, and Golden could join us for Jazz Fest. I mean if we had the portal we could see the man in his Vegas show, hell we could spend every weekend in Vegas, the possibilities are endless, but only if Science gets off their ass and makes it happen. Looking at you future nerds, this should be your cause, your focus.

Look at it .. it could be so pretty!!!!!!!

The point is I miss Golden, portal or no portal I am in serious need of a “Golden fix” sure we text, we tweet, we stay connected but it’s not the same as sitting and laughing with her in person, and goodness knows we laugh a LOT at each other, at others, at Lulu, at her nieces, just literally every moment spent with her is a good one for my soul. (too much?!)

So I thought with all these kids getting ready to graduate both high school and college I thought I’d give them the secret … We work to keep this friendship going far beyond the miles between us. See here’s what they don’t tell you, the friends that mean something to you, the ones that really count, you’ll make time for, you’ll make the effort to keep in touch. Those that don’t will become every once in a while friends that you talk to “when you think about it” or more importantly when “they” think about it.

Both Golden and I have friends from college and high school that we rarely talk to anymore, and I have made it my business that I don’t become that friend for her. With Golden working “non-traditional” hours we don’t have our 3 hour gab fests during the weekend like before, but now we text throughout the day, at night, on the weekends, and are forever connected by this device always in my hand/pocket. This is why my phone has unlimited data. She knows I am literally a text a way and more important I know she is also a text away. Sure we still talk every once in a while, sometimes you just have more to say than can be said in text, and now when we talk it’s literally about EVERYTHING from work drama, to family drama, movies/TV shows we’ve recently watched, books we’ve recently read (or want to read), literally any and every single thing is on the table and it’s not uncommon for both of us to have to charge our phones during the conversation or become dead to the world for hours.


My point is there are people in your life worthy of a 31 day celebration and Golden is definitely that person.

It’s not something I do for everyone but for Golden it’s not even a chore. Her Birthday comes once a year, the rest of the time she asks for very little but gives to many so I can take 31 days to show her how awesome she is and make her birthday the best one ever at least until next year.
It doesn’t take much, really any acknowledgement of her birthmonth is a win for her, so hit her up on twitter, you’ll be glad you did cause let’s face it no one can tell a story like Golden, don’t believe me, ask her about her big ass crack baby dog, Lulu, climbing up a tree to get a bird’s nest then being unable to get down Golden had to scale said tree and … well she tells it better than me. Ask her … you won’t be disappointed in her answer.

So over the next 31 days or so i'll post several times telling you just what makes Golden worth of this Month Long Celebration but sadly unless you really get to know her you'll never really understand it so hit that follow button and join the fun! @theonlygolden --- cause it's true there's not another Golden that even comes close to her!

Happy Birthmonth Golden let’s get this Celebration started!!!


Sunday, April 26, 2015

My Birthmonth is coming....

May is my birthmonth! It's that time of year again, kiddos! That magical time of year where I act like a self indulgent ass for 31+ days!


My actual birthday isn't until May 31st but I begin my celebration on May 1st. Well May 1st if y'all are lucky. Sometimes it's leaked into April by a day or two. I've been observing my birthmonth for years now, but I've noticed the past couple of years that more and more people are recognizing not just their birthday but their birthweek and/or their birthmonth. Is it because I started this trend?

I mean, probably.

Ok. Honestly, probably not. It's probably because it seems that in today's society we all think we are each special and important and deserve all the attention. We are each little special snowflakes. Is this why I celebrate my birthmonth?

Not entirely.

It has turned into kind of a self indulgent joke. A way for my family, friends and I to take a serious situation & make it easier to swallow. Not too long out of high school I began to display strange health problems. I was in college at the time and spent alot of time in and out of doctors, specialists, and hospitals. At times I would go to classes through the week drive to Birmingham on the weekends to be admitted for testing sign out and drive 3hours back to college. Thinking about how I had to handle somethings then medically, really makes me realize how far we have come with our medical system. Sometimes (although rarely) I could get a doctor to issue a labwork order to a local doctor so I wouldn't have to drive for blood work. I even went into the university clinic to get labs drawn but before I could produce my medical order the local campus security had me restrained and handcuffed because Gomer fucking Pyle mistook my constantly bruised and needle beaten arms for drug track marks. From that point on I was too embarrassed and so made the drive every weekend. I was tested for anything and everything they could think to test for, by so many doctors and specialists that I soon lost count. They couldn't tell me what I had, only what I didn't have. Fucking helpful, I know. It was stressful, painful, scary and expensive. I began assembling my medical team of doctors. And after months and months and months of tests (routine and experimental) the only thing they were positive of was that my life span was limited. Me and my family were told I would be in a wheelchair by 25 and I "wouldn't live to see a 30th birthday".

I think my mom handled it the hardest. Everything became a potential "last memory". At this point it's probably important for you to know I HATE having my picture taken. Absolutely HATE! With all the fires of hell. But my mom felt that she need document every damn thing. We had to have cheesy ass pictures made because what if it was the last time she had a picture of the whole family? What if this was the last time you have an Christmas walking? What if this is the last time you and your brother are able to stand next to each other? What if this is your last birthday?

For the next few years as my health ebbed and flowed, my birthday became dreaded because it was one less year we were able to have together. My days were numbered and a team of extremely well educated and highly paid medical professionals had stamped me with an expiration date.

And fucking frankly I got tired of it.
So instead I revolted!


If it was going to be be my last, I was damn well going to enjoy it. Pack as much fun, as many activities and as many parties as possible into my day. Which quickly began to spread into days, weeks and then all month. Instead of having my mom cry for days leading up to it, I started calling her on May 1st, "Its the first day of my birthmonth, tell me happy birthday! Let's go buy something frivolous & eat cake!" May 2nd, call mom.. "it's the second day of my birthmonth! Tell me happy birthday! Let's go have our nails done!" And so on and so on. When my brother & his wife had kids mom wanted me to be able to make as many memories as possible with them, in case one day it was all they had left to know me by. So I started making my whole family (and Marcy whenever possible) go with me to the zoo for my birthday weekend.

Why the zoo?
Because I fucking love the zoo, that's why!

All this celebrating didn't really keep my family and friends from silently dreading my inevitable impending death but it did kind of create a way for them to deal with it. And it provided me the opportunity to instead of fearing death to celebrate life.

My body breaks down, tears up and at times absolutely was worthless. But meds and stubbornness are amazing bedfellows. 25 came and I wasn't wheelchair bound! So that birthday was a celebration! As 30 approached we celebrated harder each year because it was likely to be my last birthday. The year between 29 & 30 was like waiting any moment to fall over dead. But contrary to the expensive over paid, overly educated medical professionals I did reach the 30th birthday! And an entire group of people let out a collective breath that nobody was willing to admit we had been holding.
Since then, each birthday I have has turned from a sad potentially last ever, to a celebratory 'we made it' month long party. There are days that I feel like I can barely contain the pain within me and there are days that I barely have pain. But whichever day I'm having, I have surpassed my life expectancy. And that's worth celebrating.

So when it comes to my birthday I tend to go overboard. If you know me personally or follow me on social media, I am so sorry for my dumb ass self indulgence. It helps me and mine deal with serious life issues, but that doesn't mean that we can't celebrate. I can dance so I'm going to and I want everyone I know to join in. So until we all get sick and can't stand any more let's eat cake and celebrate!

Happy Birthmonth to Me!

-golden (@theonlygolden)
Ps-if you don't mind some goofy silliness please feel free to follow me on twitter for my birthmonth celebration and join in the revelry!


Saturday, April 4, 2015

Original Fiction - A Royal Welcome

The saga continues…seriously this thing is taking on a life of its own, I thought maybe 2 or three posts but now I’m not even sure when it will end, or frankly if I even want it to end. As you may recall dear reader, I started this story back in January after a dream I had that featured “We’ll Always Have Mexico” a song by Haley and Michaels (if you haven’t already check out their website and learn more about this fantastic couple). I must restate how odd it is that I’ve even chose this as my “muse” I don’t know Shannon or Ryan and I certainly don't know any of the Royal family, heck I've never even shown a big interest in the comings and goings of the Royal family, yet I find myself thinking about this story long after I’ve left the keyboard. I’ve written many a great paragraph on my way to work which will never see the light of day. Must remember to get a tape recorder STAT!

Get the new Haley and Michaels EP here ...

To read the background before jumping in below … here’s the link to the other posts

and now I give you part 3 of this journey

A Royal Welcome

She couldn’t believe she was standing at the baggage claim in Heathrow Airport, it seemed literally foreign to her as going out of the country before today meant Canada. Looking around she wanted to grab the nearest person and say “We are going to play our music for the QUEEN!” but was determined to keep her cool and resisted the urge. She did want everyone to stop moving so she could live in this moment and capture it so she’d always remember it as Ryan walked over to her.

“You can stop looking, they lost your bag. They are tracking it and said when they find it they will send it to the hotel, but it was definitely not on the plane. I guess it got left behind after the last plane change. I’m so sorry Shannon!”

She looked up at Ryan “Do you realize where we are? Do you realize what we are about to do?”  She took his hand and the clink of her ring made her pause again, “Do you realize this is our first trip as a married couple?” She wanted to make a list of all the first happening in her life because they were all coming so fast she was afraid she’d forget them all. First time I’ve lost my luggage on a trip, she thought, first trip with my husband, first time I’ve called Ryan my husband, first time in London, first gig ‘across the pond,’ it was all starting to make her head spin when Ryan leaned down and grounded her with a single kiss.

Nearly a year ago this journey started with an email from Prince Harry which they were all pretty sure was a joke. He was inviting them to perform at a benefit concert for their Royal Foundation. They couldn’t believe that the Prince had heard their music, which hadn’t been released yet overseas. After several additional e-mails it was clear that the group and their managers weren’t taking the request seriously until they received one with a European phone number simply asking them to call for a discussion about the benefit.

After checking the time in London Shannon, Ryan, and Mark, their manager, dialed the phone. The last thing they wanted was to wake up and infuriate the Prince, or more likely his “people” by calling at an insanely late or early hour, if by some chance this was real. They listened as the phone dialed fully expecting some pub or radio station to answer, pulling a prank. The way they saw it this could be good publicity for an up and coming act and definitely a story to tell on stage or in their next interview.  They each sat there thinking, what if this is real, but not wanting to voice it out loud and appear to be foolish later. Shannon was praying for no answer so they could leave a voice mail and the journey could continue.  Until there was definite sign that this was a prank a small part of her could live in the ‘the Prince of England likes our music’ bubble.

After the third ring a quiet voice answered, “Hello” not expecting an answer Mark stumbled, “um…yes, this is Haley and Michaels we were told to call this number to talk about a possible benefit show.”

“Oh…yes” a very surprised voice answered, “One moment.” Then there is a thud on the phone. Mark gave a nod to the band as if to say told ya. After a few moments in which Mark would have hung up, if Shannon had let him, the voice returned to the phone, “sorry about that, hard to talk business with a sleeping toddler in your lap.” Shannon playfully slapped Ryan on the arm and mouthed, ‘That’s Harry!’

“I’m so glad you guys called, I could tell from the e-mail exchanges we weren’t all on the same page. I’ve asked someone to get Kate so we can really discuss the benefit and convince you guys to join us since she’s the co-chair. As you know from my initial e-mail, the benefit would be for The Royal Foundation and will help fund a lot of the projects we have in the coming year. The hope would be that this would turn into a yearly benefit which would serve several purposes for us, to promote the foundation, showcase some of the kids we are helping, the work the foundation does, and fund projects for the coming year. It would also give the artists a platform unlike no other.”

The three of them sat there dumbfounded until Ryan blurted out, “Is this real?”

The Prince laughed, “Ha ! Yes very much so. Kate just walked in, I have Haley and Michaels on the phone to talk about the benefit.” 

“Hey guys! So glad to finally get to talk to you! We LOVE your EP, even George sings ‘we’re gonna light it’ as he walks down the hallway, well as well as a toddler can sing it! Um… speaking of which where is my child?”

“He’s on the couch he had just fallen asleep when they called. So guys we are thinking May 2016 for this benefit, we haven’t finalized exact dates yet but we are thinking a 2 or 3 day festival featuring music, a sports tournament around the music festival, and arts and crafts. Three or four jam packed days of activities and events all showcasing what the Royal Foundation has to offer.”

Kate breaks in, “The theory is to put an emphasis on the kids being helped by the foundation, showcasing their art, showcasing their talents and showing why supporting this foundation is supporting these kids and why the two are important. We feel like putting an emphasis on the positives that the foundation gives to these kids then more will get involved and we can do more for these kids. We feel like the musical aspect of a festival will bring more people to the table so we can show them how truly amazing these kids are when given the proper chances. So the bottom line is … are you guys interested in joining the benefit?”

Before thinking Shannon says, “Why us?” then she panics, “I mean it’s a fantastic opportunity and we’d love to, I’m just … our music isn’t being played over there …. So yeah why us?”

“Bloody Hell did you not tell them the story” Kate says towards Harry. “Last time Will and I were in the states we heard 500 miles on the radio. I fell in love with it so Will bought your EP for me. I immediately fell in love with the entire thing and sent it to Harry. He fell in love with We’ll Always Have Mexico and we agreed you guys should be at the benefit if only because we’d love to hear more of what you guys can do.”

Dumbfounded Shannon and Ryan just sat there, Mark jumped in, “of course we’d love to be a part of this, and we apologize for not writing back but in all honesty we thought it was a prank. I’m glad Shannon convinced us to give you guys a call to find out for sure. We’ll definitely be more responsive now. Can I ask who are some of the other artist? I assume it’s a mixture of artist and genres.”

Harry was glad they were on the phone, “um…to be honest …. You guys are the first group we’ve contacted about his benefit. However yes, a mixture of artist and genres is what we are going for, but we also want it to make sense, meaning you guys won’t be the only country group with a bunch of alternative bands. We want to bring as many people to the festival and a mixture of talent should do just that. We are also hoping that the artist will hook up with some of the musically inclined kids that will also be a part of the festival and talk with them about the business and process of what they do. A mixture of established artist, armatures and up and coming acts will really allow for a learning experience like no other.”

The next few months were a blur of activity as Haley and Michael’s continued to support their EP, work on their album, plan a wedding, and prepare for the festival. Soon they were suggesting bands they knew to the foundation and talking about schedules, plane tickets, and arrival times. They had really gotten to know Harry and Kate over the last year and couldn’t wait to see them in person and not over a computer screen. Shannon never wanted to leave this airport because they would be that much closer to this fairytale being over.  She was jolted back to reality and out of Ryan’s embrace by a now familiar voice.

“Pathetic you’d think they’d wait until they got to the room, I mean there are kids here!” Harry said under his ball cap and sunglasses as he gestured around the airport.

“Oh, leave them alone this is after all their honeymoon, congratulations you guys! I hope you don’t mind but we decided to make this welcome on our own.” Kate said from under a similar ball cap as she grabbed Shannon’s arm and pulled her towards the doors, “Now let’s get going there’s so much to do!” Shannon looked back to see Ryan shaking hands with Harry as Kate started talking about all that was to come over the next week or so, it was truly going to be the trip of a lifetime and she couldn’t wait to get started even if she’d have to wear the same jeans for a few days.
so anyway there you have it ... what do you guys think? have you guys checked out Haley and Michaels, if not you really should, they are fantastic ! What's your favorite track on the EP?