Friday, January 31, 2014

Anticipating Spring

What am I doing on this final Friday night in January, you ask? 

This young, nubile, professional, princess heartthrob - all speculative adjectives - is anticipating spring. Thus, derived from much forethought, I'm spring cleaning. 

On Sunday, that damn groundhog better not see his shadow! 

A la Richard Pryor, "Dead groundhog." 

Friday, January 24, 2014

It Is My Name

Come on!! 

At precisely 8:40 this morning I was addressed as Avril by a coworker. 

Contrary to her belief that I was birthed from the depths into existence like Venus de Milo back in May when I finally earned my own cubicle, I've been here almost six years. 

To help, my name is pronounced like 'April' but with a 'v'. 

This is my biggest pet peeve. Please have respect for people's names. Sometimes, it's all they have. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I am guilty. 

I know some people wish the pound symbol on my keyboard would fall off or that my index finger would break, but that seriously only makes me want to create more hashtags. In the end I always feel like Oskar Schindler, "I could have done more." 

hashtag everything. Even though I know it does not work that way, I especially hashtag text messages. 

This drives J2 absolutely mad. The first time I ever hashtagged a text to him he called me, "Quit using hashtags in texts! It doesn't work that way!" 

I laughed hysterically. 

Eventually I got a text that said, "#quitusinghashtags."

For the past five months I have intermittently sneaked hashtags in our text conversations. Nearly every time, I catch crap for it. 

Tonight, he texted me back in hashtag.  

I win! I never have to hashtag in a text to him again. #ButIprobablywill. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Role Reversal

I went shopping at the Victoria Secret's semi-annual sale today. When I got to J2's house with my giant bag Phaedra, who is 14, wanted to see everything I purchased. 

I showed her the bras, "Oh, pretty."

I looked in the bag and still had a few items. I told her she couldn't see those because they're too racy. 

"Well, you brought it up and now I want to see them." 

You cannot unsee what I am about to pull out of the bottom of the bag. I throw a pair of panties on the bed. 

"What??!!!?? Are you planning to be a stripper???"

My, my how our roles are reversed. I'll remember this the next time she asks if she can have my free panty coupon. Better yet, I'll remind her of this conversation in five years. 

The Early Bird

Every Saturday morning my Facebook feed is full of my friends posting way-too-damn-early-in-the-morning photos to brag about their kid's high score at the soccer or basketball game, cheerleading competitions, going kayaking, camping, bike riding, or eating breakfast. So, I'm gonna show you what I did on this fine Saturday morning. 

I slept in late. Then I wrote a blog. I spent the next hour and a half talking to my best friend on the phone. Never mind that we live 20 driving minutes away from each other and spoke on the phone for nearly three hours last night, and we are going to lunch together in 20 minutes. Then, just after 1pm I rolled out of bed, make my bed, and I'm already dressed. 

That's true ambition and what I call being the early bird! 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Product Review: It's A 10

Multiple colorings have left my hair fried. I have to deep condition every time I take a shower and it is still difficult to get a comb through my wet locks. 

I've been asking friends for recommendations on a product that will make my hair manageable, if not at least tolerable to get a comb through it. 

The only product referred to repeatedly is It's A 10 Miracle Leave In Conditioner. Plus, every one added that it smells so good. Two friends even claim that men that are strangers will approach them in public to comment, "How delicious your hair smells."

I was not in a hurry to try it, how fantastic could it be? I eventually get online and order a 4 ounce bottle for $11, which is approximately $7 cheaper than Wal-mart

The It's A 10 website claims it is a miracle product. From what everyone has been telling me I believe it. 

When It's A 10 arrives in the mail I can't wait to spritz it on my hair. I want to smell  this candy deliciousness my imagination has been fed. I'm thinking this product is generating the type of hype and reaction that Herbal Essences did when it first came out in the late 1990's. College and high school girls across the country would flip their hair and simply from a hair tousle a spectacular clean scent fills the air. The five closest people in proximity would instantly know, "She uses Herbal Essence." I want that from It's A 10. 

I rip open the package and pull the bottle out. On the back it says, "Flat Iron spray & thermal protector." 

J2 and I are going out and I am preparing to straighten my hair. I flip the cap off and immediately start spritzing it in my dry hair. To the left, to the right, backwards, forwards, I am tossing my hair every direction to get maximum coverage. Me standing in the bathroom looks like an 80's hair band video. 

My hair is sticky. I am having a very difficult time getting a comb through it so that I can hit it with the Hot Tools 2 inch barrel curling iron. When I complete combing a single section the strands immediately stick back together like I have a candy cane tangled somewhere in this rat's nest. 

J2 comes home. He walks in to kiss my forehead but stops, "What is that smell?"

I thought it was just me, but no. It's A 10 smells bad. This is not the candy deliciousness I was promised. It has a chemical smell that is turning my stomach. 

J2 asks me, "When will you wash it out of your hair? I can't stand it. Please don't use it around me again."

It is making me sick and he can't stand it. Well, we have a verdict. There goes $11. 

Perhaps it was a bad batch or I bought the wrong product. I confirm the correct color of the bottle with my girlfriends. I make a trip to Ulta and Wal-mart. I sniff bottles of It's A 10 from their shelves. They smell exactly the same. 

I hold on to the bottle. I am going to try it again. 

This time, I shower first then apply the leave-in conditioner directly into my wet hair. There is no pulling, no pain, and no wrestling. The comb glides through my wet hair. It still smells horrible. Without adding any other products to my hair I go to work. My hair dried frizzy, but extremely soft and manageable. 

 Frizzy hair, don't care.  For your own Chunky Scarf contact Conway & Co.

I tried it again last weekend with a small amount of hair gel, Biolage Gelee. This is the result: 


Today, I try it again. After spritzing my hair with It's A 10 I put the comb through my hair. Then, I apply my regular amount of hair gel, Biolage Gelee. 

I know Biolage is expensive, but it works and I have used it religiously for the past fifteen years. Plus, it smells clean. 

Unless I'm straightening my hair, I always let it dry naturally. My hair responded fantastically! 

Yep, I wore the same shirt twice in one week, but I have fantastic hair. 

I absolutely love how It's A 10 Miracle Leave In Conditioner responds to my hair. With the product, my hair reacts as it did before it was chemically fried. I would love to score the product a 10  However, simply from the horrible scent, I say, It's A 6. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Memphis Music: Eric Hughes Band

I had only photographed for Radio-Memphis one month when Mr. Eric Hughes came to the studio to be interviewed in May of 2013. He was standing on the street, in front of the studio, smoking a cigarette. As I approached Mr. Eric, who was speaking with an on-air personality, reaches out his hand, "Miss Averill, it is a pleasure to meet you."

I had not introduced myself. I never even said my name. Yet, he said it correctly. That is huge! 

In that moment, I knew he was different from any musician I had been introduced to before. He was not just networking; he took the time to remember my name. That is genuine. He impressed me.

Through meeting him a dozen times, since May, I have learned Eric is more than genuine. He is a gentleman, grateful, humble, and one helluva talented musician. Eric has proven my intuition correct and at every show he and his band, Walter, Leo, and Brian, exceed all previous expectations. They set and continuously raise the bar for a damn good Blues show.  

In 2013, The Ground Zero Blues Club invited Eric Hughes Band to play every Friday the 13th. Upon Mr. Eric's invitation, on the final Friday 13th of the year Jeff Janovetz, cohost of Booze & Blues on Radio Memphis, and I make the hour and a half drive from Memphis to Clarksdale, MS.  

If you have not had the pleasure of experiencing the Eric Hughes Band you are truly missing out. The guys confidently blend the soothing bass lines of Leo Goff, strong rock rifts of Walter Hughes' guitar, "The Hitman" J. Brian Aylor's kicking jazz drums beats combined with the harmonizing vocals of Eric's soulful voice, harp, and resonator guitar. The culmination results in a tightly fused, incomparable, explosive sound that is known around the world exclusively as Memphis Blues.

The stylings of the Eric Hughes Band will get your legs to stomping and feet to jumping on those Mississippi Hill Country Blues tunes. Before you know it their style changes to an epic Big Band Blues party anthem "Drink Up!" Miss Donna, the ultimate hostess and Eric's wife, will grab your hand, leading you out to wear down the wood on the dance floor with strangers you will soon be calling friends. This band throws a damn good party! 

In the shadows, Mrs. Carolyn T. Hughes cuts a rug to the music of her sons.

Eric Hughes live at the Ground Zero Blues Club.
Walter Hughes plays with his pick clasped in between his lips.

The smoke from Eric's cigarette twists to the words he sings.

Leo Goff creates dynamic bass lines to be heard and felt.

Eric singing through the harmonica microphone.

The crowd got up to dance the night away.  A stranger said, "Hey, take my picture, dancing!"

Walter from stage left with Eric and Leo in the background.
The lovely ladies, Ann Rice and Babs Sater, pause from dancing.

The Hitman keeping it tight behind the drums.

Walter Hughes catching the sweet spot.
A view of Eric Hughes Band from the sound booth in the world renown Ground Zero Blues Club.

This year, Ground Zero Blues Club has invited The Eric Hughes Band to play every other month. They will playing Ground Zero again on April 19, 2014. Or, check them out prior to this weekend by visiting their website.