Thursday, August 28, 2014

Good Humans, Happiness, & What It Means To Me...

You all know that writing/blogging is my passion. Commenting online has been my forte for the longest. But you know what? I've not blogged in over two weeks. I've done maybe six tweets and three Facebook posts within the past fourteen days as well. And I'm okay with that. Why? Because I have found the happy place I'm supposed to be in. For the time being, at least.

I'm a nanny to a f*cking awesome seven-year-old and I do a bunch of random errands for and with her kick*ss parents. Mrs. X? I think the world of her, unlike ScarJo. I'm also now a Perot Museum volunteer (of which I somehow passed the interview by the grace of God despite running off -208 hours of sleep); as of yesterday I'm now a PT coordinator at the Dallas Children's Theater. It's like my dreams are happening. It's weird. I've been through extreme ups and downs since college and at twenty-four-and-a-half-years-old I'm getting what I've always dreamed and prayed for. Which is peace, content and happiness. In a creative atmosphere, of course. :-)

Mrs. Frizzle for Bella
(I'm not jumping at the thought of moving to NYC, okay?!)

It's taken twenty-four years for me to understand and/or experience what "happiness" is. My version of it? Well, it's being able to put $60 worth of Shell gasoline in the tank while thanking the Lord above for being able to do so. It's driving down Preston at 8:45PM after a day's work and seeing the gorgeous tree lines along St. Andrews. It's also waking up every single morning, ready to go, before my alarm clock, because my "job" and "boss" are just so unbelievably awesome.

And I say this with air quotes because if any of you knew Mrs. X, her child, and/or her husband, you would understand why. They don't feel like "employers" because they are like family. I love 'em. And I'd kill for 'em. They inspire me daily with their curiosity, intelligence, and positivity.

More importantly, they bring out the best in me.

I've taken a step back recently and realized what brings out the good in myself and what makes me happy. Yes, improv makes me happy. So does performing, theater, film, and volunteering. And politics, depending on the situation. But it's been quite an adjustment establishing the boundary I needed to acknowledge re: what works for this here sister. I attribute this to the genuinely good people (i.e. my boss, her kid and her friends) I've come across in recent months.

There are good people in this world. Five Four Three two months ago, I wasn't sure of this. When you're so wrapped up in an environment thriving off of negativity and competition it's hard to see the good. Cliche, I know. But go see for yourself if ya don't believe me. Who would've thought that it would take two doctors and their kid/family to show me how fun life can be? And, I must give credit to my Perot family, Dallas Children's Theater family, and SMU family for somehow weirdly, oddly, but greatly enough, showing me this as well. Leave it to "the bubble" I've always been accustomed to for bringing me back to reality.

So, I encourage you all to visit Cosmic Cafe, treat yourself to a good karma stone, and enjoy this pure bliss of life that I'm currently in. Because it's great, y'all.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

My One Night Stand At The Deep Ellum Candy Shop...

I would just like to let everyone know that even 20- and 30-somethings can be enticed by candy shops. Not 50 Cent's version, but actual candy shops with a window displaying M&M's and Snickers. However, I knew I had a blog post the moment I found the "candy shop" I was invited to last night, ironically similar to 50 Cent's version. Open for all kinds of business 'til 2AM, and potentially ran by the mafia. Attracting ratchet crowds in Forever 21 garb, impatiently waiting to be escorted in. Pun intended. Just calling it what it is, you guys.

And the 4 sq. ft. candy exterior fooling most? Not for sale. You all know I inquired. In typical Mallory fashion, as I jokingly mentioned the suggestion to the Paris Hiltons next to me who didn't get my sarcasm. Felt like I was back at SMU. Because the universe f*cked up and forgot to give some people a sense of humor. So things got awkward and I did the whole "I'm pretending to read an important text I somehow received at this very moment" maneuver. You all know the faux text look. Scrunched eyebrows, intense focus, as you scroll through tweets. FYI, the candy wasn't for sale because most of the customers don't eat solid foods, let alone Hershey bars.

I'm generally in the know of all things Deep Ellum, along with local hole-in-the-walls. Especially word-of-mouth ones off the radars. And especially ones with "gobstopper" as the club's password to get in and where Oompa Loompas and Willy Wonkas supposedly mingle. But I'd never heard of this candy shop, which FYI, had no Oompa Loompas or Willy Wonkas as promised by groupies in line. Veruca Salts were rampant, though, so how I was unaware is beyond me. But the Deep Ellum badass that is Christie Wallace deserves a golden ticket for showing me what is up on Elm.

Also the only human proudly announcing "gobstopper" was $30k millionaire contestant of the evening #84, hoping she'd be exclusive and curtsy past the commoners, despite falling out of her Uber moments before. But none for Gretchen Weiners since "gobstopper" was publicly posted on Facebook; at that point we knew we had a Fulbright Scholar on our hands. And by "we" I mean me and the six multicultural guys still waiting in line because they lacked dudebro status. Drunk Scott Disicks, subsequent Tara Reids, and Uptown's finest passed inspection. Others had to slip $20 (oddly suggested by a well-dressed man just hangin' out) to a bouncer uninterested, even after being called "racist" by a tipsy DJ Khaled doppelgänger, unfortunately not dudebro enough for the silver fox bossman. How did I know he called the shots? I have two eyes skilled in spotting ego, and two ears skilled in spotting classy name droppers with whispers stating the obvious.

And yours truly was sober, sweet, and suspicious. Or so it seemed to the Jersey Shore staff glaring in addition to $20 suggestion guy telling me twice what sounded like an extravagant Yelp review, never to be published. But my friends were already inside Wonkaland so my bad. And being sober inhibited my dance skills once inside 40 minutes later, but it worked out well for my Becky Oliver questioning so that you guys got all the deets. I would've waited 40 more minutes because behind candy shop doors was a character GOLD MINE. People-watching mecca, I tell you. Girls all over were doing what I like to call the "sorority dance move" where you subtly sway left to right, typically in a circle of girls, also all awkward, single, and white. And there were plenty sloppy couples practically making babies, creepy people you'd find on Craigslist, and a tiny population of normal weirdos with Charlie Bucket curiosity, like me. And our DCH group had plenty of fun for obvious reasons. The music was pretty top-notch, too, and the AC blasting 60-degree temps is deserving of a 5-star Yelp review alone.

Despite all of my clues, if you're a blind pig like I was and still have no idea what I'm talking about, I'll tell you... Dallas' latest hidden gem, literally, I was privileged to experience/survive, and appropriately dubbed the "clandestine new bar" by Dallas Culture Map and "Deep Ellum's seductive new speakeasy" by the Edge is Truth & Alibi. The only bar I know capable of causing the need for many alibis. That's the truth. (God, could I get any more cheesy here?) Had my iPhone not been in a bad mood I would've documented everything T&A. But no picture or blog post could ever portray how weird it was. I guess if there's a candy shop speakeasy naturally it would be in Deep Ellum, where weird is normal. Or is it where normal is weird? Regardless, the Deep Ellum Candy Shop is just another hot mess bar you should check out for the sake of Wonka-weird camaraderie. 


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Perot Gems, Ollie The Wino, & Unnecessary Suicides...

Friendship at first sight... 
I don't think I've slept in two days, but I'm off work this week, and I have projects with deadlines and of artistic nature; I'm on a creative spur that seems to only be inspired during the wee hours of the night, of course. Also, my best friend Staci is heading back to Houston today. Our latest BFF retreat, which we're lucky to have maybe twice a year, went by too fast. I'm hoping this time I've convinced her to get back to the D. Because despite S being pragmatic and practical, and like a member of Mensa, she's the Monica to my Phoebe that has remained by my non-Mensa ass since day one. And by day one I mean AXO bid day '09 at SMU, where we awkwardly met on a brick wall, awkwardly dancing, because we're awkward and everything sorority rush is awkward.

Meet Ollie, the wino lab... 
But we've spent the past few hours watching The Mindy Project with Ollie, our beloved dog that's not actually our dog. We tend to have a habit of adopting animals, or voluntarily parenting other people's pets, because that's just what certified cat ladies do, I guess... (One more quirk confirming our best-friend-for-lifeship.) Prior to this we ate enough Pluckers chicken wings for the Duggar family. We also floated around the pool earlier, basking in the good 'ole Texas sun, which ultimately knocked us out like a bunch of old grannies.

And, since I'm just telling our entire itinerary at this point I might as well mention that prior to granny pool time we hit up the downtown El Fenix after visiting the Perot Museum (of Nature and Science, if you wanna be formal.). And you guys... it was just awesome. We were insanely impressed. Without a doubt Perot is the best museum in Dallas right now. Every employee we came across (which was many because Staci and I talk to everyone) was friendly and beyond professional. And I must give a huge shoutout to my girl Eveline, one of the most genuine and fabulous humans that I'm lucky to have as a friend, for hooking us up and getting us involved. It takes a lot to impress Staci and I if we've had no sleep, no Starbucks, and/or are surrounded by 9,250 school children field-tripping. But the Perot won us over so much that we gave fancy, little, 5-star Yelp reviews, so snaps to everyone.

Many snaps of appreciation to
Ms. Lyda Hall for this here gem... 
And as jewelry fanatics obviously the Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall was the winner in our book. We actually read stuff, drooled over all 5,031 gems, and took our time passing through the hall like actual adults. Which was remarkable, because when my ADHD combines with Staci's in a public venue like a museum, things can get chaotic quick. After about ten seconds at something like an exhibit we're moving on to the next thing. But we make for one productive duo when shopping. Seriously, if you're a Taurus, go find an Aquarius, and make her be your best friend.

Biscuits for dayz...
Lastly, despite my snark above on being tired or without Starbucks, I'm not complaining about anything. Today was fabulous. So was yesterday. And the day before that. Because the Monday passing of Robin Williams reminded me again just how powerful depression can be, and that being alive is a really great thing. I've given a lot of thought on the blogs, statuses, and op-eds from the past 72 hours resulting from his death, which will go down in Hollywood history as one of the most sad, shocking, and thought-provoking. The suicide woke up many moral compasses since it wasn't the "norm," and nobody saw it coming. This is why we lost one of the greatest comedians ever to an illness that's the product of the human ego.

Chit-chatting about mental illness makes people uncomfortable, but I think attending a funeral is more uncomfortable than having a conversation, no? I've dealt with depression for seven years. And I know the thoughts, and pains, and I've played the denial game. It sucks. And I beat it, barely, but this is why I think talking to people and making them feel human and loved is so important. Acknowledging someone costs nothing. Because how nobody cared enough to notice the agonizing pain and loneliness plaguing Robin Williams to the point of death is beyond me.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

12 Ways Dallas Traffic Ruins My Life...

Here's the thing... I'm so stinking excited for my BFF to roll into town this afternoon from Houston that I can't even sit still or be productive today. Naturally I'm releasing the energy via my phalanges on the Macbook; I've greatly enjoyed expressing my strong feelings on Dallas's traffic debacle through the snarky rants below. So, by all means, rejoice in 'em yourself:


1) WHEN AN OUT-OF-STATE CAR IDIOT IS ACTUALLY DRIVING THE 60MPH ON US-75... 



2) WHEN THE HP HOUSEWIFE ON HER IPHONE IS BLOCKING THE SNIDER PLAZA ENTRANCE OFF LOVERS LANE IN HER 2014 LEXUS LX...



3) WHEN YOU'RE HEADING ANY DIRECTION AT ALL ON NORTHWEST HIGHWAY AT ANY TIME OF THE GOD-FORSAKEN DAY... 



4) WHEN THE DART LIGHTS START FLASHING DURING RUSH HOUR & THAT ONE INCONSIDERATE A-HOLE KEEPS DRIVING THROUGH... 



5) WHEN AN IDIOT UNFAMILIAR WITH DEEP ELLUM TRIES TO BLOW THROUGH THE LEFT TURN LIGHT ONTO COMMERCE STREET OFF GOOD LATIMER & BREAKS START SQUEALING LIKE A SEAL... 



6) WHEN A DRUNK IDIOT UNFAMILIAR WITH DEEP ELLUM GOES THE WRONG WAY DOWN THE COMMERCE STREET ONE-WAY... 



7) WHEN AN HP OR UP COP GIVES YOU THE SULTRY "GO OVER 30MPH, I DARE YOU..." LOOK EVERY SINGLE SECOND OF THE DAY... 



8) WHEN IDIOTS TRY TO GET FROM KLYDE WARREN TO DOWNTOWN BY JAYWALKING WOODALL ROGERS, AS OPPOSED TO SENSIBLY USING THE HARWOOD OR OLIVE ST. CROSSWALK; BUT DON'T THINK FOR A SECOND I HIT THOSE BREAKS... 



9) WHEN NOBODY GOING EAST ON KNOX USES THEIR TEXAS MANNERS TO LET YOU SAFELY BACK OUT OF THE APPLE STORE/WILD ABOUT HARRY'S SH*TTY STREET PARKING SPACES... 



10) WHEN THE DOUCHE LORD STROLLING DOWNTOWN IN THE SLS GT COULDN'T SEEM TO GET A BLINKER WITH HIS $220K RIDE... 



11) 635. JUST 635 EVER. THAT IS ALL...



12) WHEN ALL YOU WANT IS SOME TRULUCK'S CHOCOLATE CAKE & YOU MIRACULOUSLY MAKE IT DOWN UPTOWN/MCKINNEY WITHOUT A) HITTING A DUMB, DRUNK BROAD, B) HITTING A DUMB, DRUNK BROAD WITH YOUR CAR, AND/OR C) GETTING HIT BY AN IRATE TAXI DRIVER... 




*Gifs courtesy of Giphy.com 

Gene Kelly, Parkland Hospital, & Why Being Annie Braddock Makes Me Happy...

Wow. It's officially Sunday. Jesus. I haven't blogged in seven days. New record there, folks. And I don't even know where to begin. This past week has been an insane whirlwind. A glorious one, though. I started work as a jackie-of-all-trades for a fabulous Dallas family on Monday, and it's been a freaking blast. I could write a book on the crazy fun I've had and why I'm already loyal and in love with my two bosses, and their kick ass daughter, who will be on Broadway one day. Mark my words now.
Little X is a funny, well-mannered 7-year-old possessing Mensa-level intelligence, and creative talent that most adult artists envy. (Remember, I'm going to reference the Nanny Diaries when on this subject for sake of their privacy, duh.) She knows that soda is bad for you, enjoys classic films/musicals and/or anything MGM Studios, loves Nutella, and horses, and thinks that Gene Kelly is a "yummy ham" in Singin' in the Rain. I mean, girl after my own heart, right? She's also a walking Evernote app because Little X doesn't forget the slightest detail. We hit up the Target frequently, (I pronounce it 'Tar-Zhay' because Little X knows some French, but appreciates my awful American humor.) and if I ramble off ten things we need to get or do in the AM, six hours later, homegirl remembers and recites every last word. It's remarkable. She also gave me a colorful BFF necklace, similar to those you craft at summer camp, ya know, and I wore it proudly today while she, Mrs. X and I ran errands all over the big D, plagued by sweaty, tax-free weekend crowds.

Speaking of errands, you guys, on Tuesday I felt like an actual mom when we went to Parker's for Little X's uniforms, and to try on the Keds. In classic, oxford, schoolgirl style, of course. The place was packed with tenacious Junior League-ers ready to scratch the eyeball out of anyone who may snag a last bow or, God forbid, cut the line. Not gonna lie, my inner, animalistic Regina George was on guard, because we were determined to leave that joint with everything crossed off the list. The whole experience honestly reminded me of my private school days before we moved to bumblef*ck nowhere East Texas, so I enjoyed it.

And not only have I lunched and brunched at several North Dallas establishments I've been wanting to try/Yelp up, I've also become a certified regular at the Starbucks off Inwood and Lovers. Jeff and David know that I need two, non-fat, venti, iced lattes, with one raw sugar only, the moment I walk in. (One for me, and one for Mrs. X, albeit me usually making mine a quadro, I'll admit.) And Mrs. X now gives me cash so I can use my Sbux plastic and reach gold card status, because she already has the gold. I mean how nice, right? I'm only six stars away, so considering I've accumulated about eleven stars since Monday, I think I'm on the road to success, y'all. #EmbarrassingFirstWorldJoys

Mrs. X also had a major hip surgery literally nine days ago and was back at work like three days later. Basically, she's just a beast of a human. Seriously. She would win the gold medal if walking on crutches was an Olympic sport. As a badass Parkland doctor who receives upwards of fifty emails/texts every thirty minutes or so, in between saving lives and being a damn good mother, she somehow manages to juggle a thousand other never-ending tasks required of her. I've picked her up a few times at the actual Parkland ER entrance (she can't drive with the hip for now), and as a huge JFK buff, I was in poli sci major heaven. On the way to her office I walked in awe when passing the labs where legitimate world-changing sh*t goes down. I mean, really, you guys, it was super cool. Felt like a field trip. As for Mr. X? He's also an extremely dedicated MD, equally deserving of major praise in being a super nice and hard-working human, despite an insane/exhausting schedule.

And the thing is, I've always been a fan of "non-traditional" jobs, and being a jackie-of-all-trades. Especially when my superiors are people with superhero powers who I admire and greatly respect, and that more importantly, respect me. This Annie Braddock enjoys being given a laundry list that changes daily of projects needing to be done. Organizing, prioritizing, and having deadlines (in an environment where lululemon pants and comfy V-necks are the uniform) is to Mallory, what lifelong dedication in public service is to Leslie Knopes. Did that make sense? Hope so. Making appointments/phone calls/errands, finding quick solutions in the chaotic day to day, and ensuring that a Little X is as happy and safe as possible fulfills me. (I mean, we all know I can't wait to be a soccer mom in twenty years.)

Can I manage my own 20-something life efficiently? Eh, I'll let the gif below answer that. I'll be a work-in-progress 'til I'm in the grave. But I take pride in finally refusing the boring and routine 9-to-5 lifestyle. Although it was chockfull of life lessons, it was historically just Xanax-inducing. And suppressing of my quirky-but-good qualities and Type-A tendencies. All capable of generating major creativity and productivity when allowed.

So in conclusion, you all know I'd love to keep rambling about how that aside from "work" this past week, I also did the following: Secured an abode, had an awesome Ewing show at the DCH, rekindled some old friendships, joined a filmmaking team, AND became an official volunteer of a few artsy fartsy non-profits here in the D. But I'll spare your eyes probably needing bifocals now and save it for next time. PS- Go 'like' my Youth Group troupe's Facebook page here. C'mon. Please?

*Gifs courtesy of Giphy.com

Sunday, August 3, 2014

15 Songs That Will Cure Your Ladytown Hangover...

We all know my post titles are more dramatic than necessary, nine times out of ten. Will the fifteen glorious scores below change your life or actually cure a hangover? Eh, it's debatable... if a beautiful piano/acoustic piece doesn't affect you emotionally and/or physically in some form or fashion then you may be an Android robot. Or my ex-lover. Or just an unappreciative asshole. Who knows. But, these songs are some of my all-time favorites (aside from my 80's and 90's country, obviously) that I listen to on a weekly basis when writing, vacuuming, Nutella-ing, etc., OR when I'm partaking in a rare, lazy Sunday in bed. #YesPlease

Which is what I'm doing today. Why? Because a little troupe by the name of Ladytown performed at the DCH last night, and I didn't get home 'til 6AM. Felt like I was back in college. We had so much fun. It was insane. The three Ladytown ladies put on one of the best improv shows I've ever seen. If not the best. Good Lord my mouth muscles are still sore from non-stop laughter. And I'll have to do another post going more in-depth on the brilliant insanity that went down last night, though, because for now it's just not happening, you guys. Also the gif has nothing to do with the post, really, but who doesn't enjoy a cat on a piano?

So, if you're mentally exhausted or feel like relaxing with a tub of Nutella and some chill tunes, open the Pandora and pick one below:


1) MY HEART WILL GO ON by Celine Dion (Okay, okay, you all know I had to throw this one in here as numero uno. I mean, it's written in my will that this must be played at my funeral, so...)

2) SONG FOR SIENNA by Brian Crain

3) TIME TO SAY GOODBYE by Emile Pandolfi

4) FIRST SNOW by David Lanz

5) ASCENT by Joe Bongiorno (Mmmm! An Italian! Yes, please.)

6) CITY OF COURAGE by Tim Neumark

7) CANON IN D by Bradley Joseph

8) THINK OF ME by Lorie Line

9) FAITH by Jim Brickman

10) BREAKFAST WITH TIFFANY by Wayman Tisdale

11) TWO MINUS ONE by Michael Dowdle

12) YININ' & YANGIN' by Victor Wooten

13) TIME TO SAY GOODBYE by Lorie Line (Sweet Lord I love this one.)

14) PEARLS OF JOY by Kevin Kern

15) LAKE ERIE RAINFALL by Jim Brickman

Saturday, August 2, 2014

How Ladyprov Helped My Manprov Skills At The Comedy House...

So I had a workshop with the one and only Kate Duffy yesterday. And I had another workshop with the fabulous Jaime Moyer this morning. They are the comedy tits and you all can Google their impressive accolades when you're done reading this. Yesterday's group was intimate (size-wise), and I got to do some funny fun fun improv with a few badass DCH'ers I've always wanted to play with. I was also granted the privilege of learning and growing right beside a few DCH legends I greatly admire as performers/humans. It was very cool watching the seasoned pros I laugh at and study weekly (who always make improv look easy peasy) just be students. So that was neat.

Also remember when I blogged about Susan Messing a few months ago and said that she caught my attention the moment she dropped an F bomb at her workshop? Yeah, Kate Duffy did that, too, so you all know I was tuned the heck in to her for the three hours that flew by all too quickly. Funny women with pirate's mouths are my true spirit animals.

Anyways, this morning the workshop was appropriately titled 'Ladyprov' as it was aimed for female improvisers trying to get away from being the concerned mom, b*tchy housewife, or obnoxious sorority sister, etc. AKA the trifecta of characters I used to go to back in my younger days. And by younger days I mean literally a month ago. I've been trying to branch out like a pear tree since making Ewing and entering level four at the DCH. Work in progress, y'all. Always a work in progress.

And there was something so refreshing and inspiring about Jaime Moyer. Yes, that's cliche. I'll be the first to admit that although I love all my boys, I am more comfortable learning from and with women. I think I make my feminist-esque ways more than obvious to most. But she was just so non-apologetic and I soaked up every word that dripped from her mouth like a sponge. A sponge with only two hours of sleep from the previous night; so that's how you know I enjoy this stuff when I can listen, have fun, and not be a Cranky McCrankerson.

Towards the end of class we did a bunch of group scenes which is something I've been wanting to explore more, and now thoroughly enjoy, thanks to the Marvelous Moyer. I mean, you guys, I got to be a gospel rapper, vacation at a turnip greens farm, sing Frozen, and be broken up with at a Motley Crue concert today. All scenes involving the one and only Sarah Wyatt now that I think about it. She is my new stage crush that I cannot wait to play again with. So dang fun. And freeing. Which is why I cannot get enough of this little thing called improvisation.

And to top it all off, having boobs or just pecks never crossed my mind while I was playing. Maybe once did I have to remind myself that I was a man for the sake of deepening my voice. But that has never happened in my improv life. Six months, not long, I know, but I left the workshop feeling like an improviser. Not a lady improviser. And that was the goal, I think. But Jaime did tell us at the end of class during an inspirational heart-to-heart, and I quote, that she, "just improvises and doesn't think of it as a gender thing." And we talked about how women tend to be too polite and/or apologetic; I've slowly (and I mean slowly) transitioned into a more confident, not-sorry-I'm-not-sorry gal. All in thanks to the funny, powerhouse women I've learned so much from during the past 180 days like Jaime, Kate Duffy, Susan Messing, Dina Facklis, Amanda Austin, etc.

So, while I do apologize to my BFFs miles away for basically being non-existent the past few days/weeks due to being immersed in the make-believe world I mostly live in, I've yet again turned a new leaf. And I cannot wait to go balls to the wall on stage in class and Ewing next week. Pun definitely intended. AND, on an ending note, it's only 5:30PM. LADYTOWN performs tonight at the Dallas Comedy House and you all should come watch Kate D, Jaime M, and Maribeth M get their funny on. Tickets are probably sold out but come wait in line anyways, like a groupie, and enjoy a Shiner or two.

Just some ladies after Ladyprov this AM...