Category Archives: Points of Interest

wicked-playbill

Houston Adventures: A “Wicked” Time at the Theatre


Hello, Brouhaha fans! It has been a while since my last adventure, and my penchant for procrastinating never helps. It has been a busy year for me but there is always time for a little pleasure. After all, we have to remember that all work and no play make @Budom a dull girl.

Houston is a versatile and diverse city filled with many opportunities not just for work but for entertainment. Although it is a long drive from the lights of Broadway in New York, it doesn’t mean that Broadway can’t come to us. This year for my birthday a lovely friend treated me to a night at the theater. Along with my daughter and her friend, the four of us enjoyed a special night watching the play, Wicked. I was so excited and the bonus was that we were seated in balcony box seating!  The stage was so close I felt like I could reach out and touch Elphaba. wicked-playbill

The play was well written and followed pretty close to the books written by author Gregory Maguire.  While reading the books would give more insight to the characters we all know that it won’t happen in a play.

When I saw original Wizard of Oz on television as a youngster, I always wondered if there was some back story for the witches. I have always been fascinated by witches and their magical lives. So, when Maguire’s stories hit bookshelves I devoured them like manna from heaven. The perceptions that Maguire’s books gave me were not what I expected to see. Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West was the good guy (or girl) standing on her soapbox while nursing insecurities about herself, Glenda the so-called good witch, was actually an entitled self-absorbed brat, who later became more likable but not brave enough to follow her own path. In all reality, Dorothy was just an unexpected accident to the land of Oz. Dorothy was a literally a lost little girl who was used by the Wizard of Oz, as was everyone else in the story. The Wizard’s character was depicted most like L. Frank Baum’s version.  He is still the ever glorified con man he was in the real world. I never expected to like Elphaba and agree with her fight, and I didn’t expect to want to smack some sense into Glenda.

orchestra-playbill

The Hobby Center stage brought all the characters to life. The actors and actresses portrayed the characters to a tee. Elphaba’s sister Nessa Rose’s (aka the Wicked Witch of the East) character was well played balancing her sweetness and obsession to be normal as well as loved. While she is mentioned in the book I feel the play really told her story better. Her story gave fans a look at how still waters can run deep. Now I must also give credit to the orchestra. The music emanating from the pit wove an even more magical feel into the story. It was a lovely time and a wonderful theater experience. I will definitely do it again. Until then Brouhaha Fans “Defy Gravity”.

 

Houston Adventures: It all started when…


 

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Houston football team: The Texans.

 

It has been too long since my fingers have told the stories of my recent #adventures. Life can have many distractions, and time being a fickle creature can slip away before we even realize it. In my last travel series The Journey Home, I had found myself in the middle of Texas. The part of Texas I ended up in was the Texas one might imagine it Texas to be. One could find small rolling hills and lovely Bluebells that encompassed ranches and empty fields stretching farther than the eye could see. Of course, we did not live too far from the big city of Austin where a person could enjoy Texas city life at its finest.

Fast forward into the future and I no longer dwell in the country, but I now find myself navigating through the streets of Texas’ largest city, Houston. While I enjoy the country life, I am also enjoying my time in a large city. It has been a long time since my family, and I have lived in a city so large that a short trip could turn into an unexpectedly long trip.

I must admit it has taken some getting used to, and there have been some up and downs. I took a long break from writing but my fingers can no longer stay still, and I am back, and I am ready to share a new series with you. I hope you will enjoy and share some of your thoughts on my adventures. I look forward to being back with my brouhaha fans. Remember, you can always keep up with my on my Twitter (@budom) and other social media platforms such as Instagram, Stumbleupon, Facebook, Google+, and coming soon, Snapchat! Check out my contact page for my social media links for an easy connect. See ya’ll around.

#Texas #Houston #adventures

 

A Night Of Music With David Justin


David Justin performing in Houston at Stereo Live  Oct. 23, 2014
David Justin performing in Houston at Stereo Live Oct. 23, 2014

On October 23rd, 2014 Houston’s Stereo Live was pulsating with artists of all types from slam poets, visual artists, fashion designers, and musicians. That night I was there to see and interview singer/songwriter David Justin who just released his new single, “Supernova”. Since the single’s release earlier this year Supernova has been played on Pandora, Sirius, and BBC Radio and is steadily gaining popularity.

David is a Houston native, and upon meeting David I found him to be the down to earth guy he was described to be. His love of music grew after he was presented with his first violin lesson at the age of eight. David proceeded to teach himself the drums at age 12 and eventually picked up songwriting. He never intended to make music a career but after writing several songs while in college David decide it was time to make his mark in the world, and he did. In 2009 David was nominated as a finalist for “best original song” with the 6th annual International Acoustic Awards.

However, “Supernova” is not David’s first well received work. In 2012 David’s first album, “Speak to the World”, which included fan favorites such as “Maria”, “Covergirl”, and “Paper Heart”. David’s acoustic style music, voice, and lyrics invite the listener to relate with clearly sung lyrics. I especially like his song, “Unspoken”. His music is reminisce of singers Gavin Degraw, John Mayer, or Michael Bublé.

The night of his performance David sat down with me for a short interview before heading on stage.

© 2014 Budom@brouhaha-access.com
The interview with David Justin at Stereo Live

Budom: How are feeling tonight? Excited? Pumped?

David: Yeah, I’m excited. There is always excitement, that’s what makes playing live so much fun.

 Budom: So tonight you’re going to be playing acoustic?

David: Yeah, yeah that’s pretty much how it all started by playing acoustic and playing by myself. Of course when I am out in LA I play with a band. But then tonight I’ll be playing acoustic style, and I have a drummer who will be playing the Kahuna it’s like a beat box thing, and then my other friend will be playing the bass. It’s going to be a good change up because there is going to be another band playing a full set, and I think the people will enjoy that a lot more. The music will be a lot more raw.

Budom: I read in your bio that you started at a very young age. Was your father your biggest influence as far as getting into music or were there other influences?

David:  I mean from a young age I was around music, and of course my dad was my biggest influence because he was the one around the house who played music. So without him I probably wouldn’t have chosen the path I did, and done things or learned the instruments that I learned without him. But yeah, I would definitely say that  he was the main person that I looked up to.

Then throughout my teenage years I got into songwriting. When I was about 17 or 18  I got really serious about it. I wrote about 10 or 12 songs that I felt really comfortable with and proud of and I didn’t know what to do with it. I never really thought about being a recording artist. I just loved music, I loved writing, and I would play for my all my friends  and family and they said, ‘you should really records these things’.

So, I started off with a little tape track like a cassette and started to record myself playing, and the more I would do that the hungrier I got to make something bigger. I ended up meeting a producer in Dallas who actually produced my first record and recorded my album.

Then about two and a half years ago I got hit up by my manager, Joe Fontaine out in Los Angeles. We started a dialogue and started talking, and his mentioned to me what he was doing and trying to accomplish. Joe said he actually knew some producers and songwriters in Los Angeles. So he asked me to fly out and I flew out. I did a session or two and things went really well. We recorded some songs and I ended up signing a deal with him.

I have been flying back and forth maybe every two to three months going out there just writing and recording. It’s really been a fun experience. I’ve really enjoyed it, and I’m starting to meet a lot of people in the industry. It’s good being out there and then being able  to come back home and play shows where I can play to almost two different audiences.

Budom: Yes, two different types of demographics and types of people? 

David: Yes, yes, it really is. Because different people respond to the songs differently, and that what’s really exciting, seeing how people respond and connect with the songs.

Budom: You were nominated as a finalist for “best original song” with the 6th annual International Acoustic Music Awards. How did that feel? Did you expect that or was it like “wow” after getting the nomination?

David: (laughs) No, I didn’t. I, uh..just finished recordings some songs from my first record and I was just really trying to get a break, and get my name out there. It was actually the first contest I had ever submitted to.  I was kind of leery about submitting to a song writing contest because they get thousands of entries, and you never know if they’re going to hear your song or what.

Yeah, I got a letter in the mail saying that I was a finalist and I think it was out of four or five thousand entries. It was really neat, it was kind of the first time I felt justified as a songwriter. I was up against pro songwriters and I really felt justified and excited. It really made me want to pursue more and do more.

Budom: So you mentioned that you want to build a bigger fan base in Houston. I have a teenage daughter, and I asked my youngest what type of questions she would ask if she had the chance. The first one question is: If there was someone you could collaborate with as a songwriter or singer who would you choose?

David: Hmm, that’s really tough because there’s so much talent out there. I mean it seems when I find a favorite artist then I find another favorite artist. I think that’s just the power of the Internet, and there’s so many tools to discover artist. I would definitely say I think it would be fun to collaborate with John Mayer. He’s a very versatile songwriter and musician.

Budom: Would you ever consider a collaboration out of your genre like Kesha and Pit Bull did as well as other artist? 

David: Uh…No, the way I write songs I don’t usually listen to other people and think. ‘I’m going to write a song like that’. It really comes from within me I’m pretty true to myself and I don’t try to be anybody that I’m not. I try to keep it pretty pure.

Budom: Okay, last question. If you had a fandom what would they be called? Here are some examples for you Justin Bieber’s fans are “Biebers”, Lady Gaga’s are “Little Monsters”, and Taylor Swift’s fans are known as the Swifties.

David: (laughs) You know this has been an on going conversation with my manger. We’re still trying to pin point that now. I thought maybe the “Little DJs” but that’s kind of corny, you know? Or maybe the “Little Supernovas”, I don’t know that something we’re still working on. I think it’s going to be like one of those things when somebody else says something and then that’s it.

Budom: (laughs) Well, we need to get that out there. We need to see what your fandom is going to be like. That’s what we need to get a rally started on getting an idea on what to call your fandom.

David: I think so, yeah. We need to work on that. That’s actually a good question because I always think about that.

Budom:  Well, David thanks so much for setting aside this time to sit here and chat with you. I look forward to seeing you on stage.

© 2014 budom@brouhaha-access.com
Houston performance.

I had a wonderful time corresponding with David through social media and at the interview. He’s a musician with heart and soul and  you can hear it in his music.

“It takes courage to chase your dreams and dreams to create courage, but either way I’m committed to both.”
– David Justin

David’s album “Speak to the World” and new single “Supernova” is available on iTunes. Look for the official “Supernova” video release coming soon, featuring Caitlin O’Connor (Sports Illustrated, The Gambler) and Christine Lakin (Step by Step, Melissa & Joey). Meanwhile, you can catch his “Supernova” lyric video on youtube.

Weekly Writing Challenge: A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words-Mother


In the spirit of TBT ( translation: throw back Thursday) I went browsing for something in my past post up. I found myself drawn into rereading the flash fiction I created just by looking into a photo and speculating. I enjoyed doing this challenge. It only made me love writing even more. So I share with you my TBT WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge: A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words- Mother.
I hope you enjoy reading my story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Brouhaha Access

Weekly Writing Challenge: A Picture Is Worth A 1000 Words

Who knew that this picture would be the picture that would end up defining our family. Mother insisted she take this photo as we wore our Sunday best. Father, never one for photos, only agreed because he hated being late more. Sissy was so proud of having her first big girl purse and I secretly agreed with father. Photos were for sissies and I took my cue from father and put on a stoic look.

Mother didn’t take the picture right away insisting that she wouldn’t unless we smiled. Sissy did her best to please mother, but then she was always trying to be like mother so of course she would. When mother realized that father and I wouldn’t budge she snapped the photo. I don’t know why father was so perturbed that day because when I think of it…

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Weekly Photo Challenge- Signs: A Matter of Life


© 2014 Budom@brouhaha-access.com
Cruise ships understand being homesick while at sea. So they bring you a little piece of home with Johnny Rockets. A place for a good old fashion hamburger.
© 2014 Budom@brouhaha-access.com
Some signs are passed on through the beauty of our world.
© 2014 Budom@brouhaha-access.com
Pier 1 is a popular party spot in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
© 2014 Budom@brouhaha-access.com
Can you guess what it is? I had to look it up but in Italian “coniglio” means rabbit.

Signs are everywhere in life. Some signs are physical and tangible like when you want to head to a business or take a road trip reading the passing signs to count off the minutes before you arrive to your destination.

Some signs are more personal like signs for answered prayers, the plant you finally grew without killing it, or the sign of the rising or setting of the sun letting you know you’re alive.

There are signs that your relationship is over, or you need to move on to the next step. There are signs that you’re being admired or that you’re being bullied.

So while we want to look for that clear sign remember some signs are not always so clear, but some signs are worth clearing up.

Other Weekly Photo Challengers:  

Weekly challengers if you enjoyed my photos please feel free to leave a link to your photo in the comments so I may enjoy your photos too. Catch ya on the flip side. 🙂

Sarah Zancotti

Retired and Rewired in Nicaragua

Cee’s Photography

A New Life Wandering

Light Words

Serendipity

Weekly Photo Challenge- A History of Endurance


 

Photo by: budom@brouhaha-access.com ©2014 Brouhaha Access
The Battleship Texas served sailors in WWI and WWII.

La Porte, Texas is a small town near Galveston Bay plays an important part in American History. The San Jacinto Battles Grounds is a historic attraction that kept up by the Texas Parks & Wildlife agency.

The photo of the Battleship Texas was taken during our housing hunting expeditions to Houston (believe me we had more than a few expeditions).  I added in the Mexican soldier (played so well by hubby) to portray “endurance”. Endurance is a hardcore ingredient when it comes to the making of American history.

The battleship tour will aid you in imagining the life sailors endure during the wars, especially in comparison with today’s sailors. Imagine your only source of news from home depended solely on snail mail? I am sure my iPhone toting teen would find that barbaric.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity Living Off The Land


I enjoy traveling because learning becomes interactive. My visit to Jamaica revealed that poverty is real. In the United States people can go most of their life without seeing or meeting homeless. However, that is getting more difficult as economies remain unstable.

I was impressed with the Jamaican people, that no matter the difficulties of their struggles, the Jamaicans are a positive and resilient people. In Montego, Jamaica stands a statue of  Samuel Sharpe,a revered freedom fighter against slavery.  Sharpe, a leader in abolishing slavery in Jamaica, and aided towards eventual independence from Britain.

“…Jamaica slaves won emancipation in 1834…”-Photo with History of Jamaica.

Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity Living Off The Land

Sting Ray City: Home Of the Gentlest Sea Creature


As you read the words sting ray I believe that the name Steve Irwin comes to mind. The horrible “gasps” echoed around the world when people heard of his injury and eventual passing.

I still feel sad when I think about Irwin being gone, for his wild love of nature inspired me to watch him on television. I didn’t love nature as passionately as Irwin did, but I did appreciate it more.

In the Grand Cayman there is a beautiful stretch of sand bar that houses a lot of sting rays called Sting Ray City. Of course our tour guides from MarineLand Tours, were well versed and full of knowledge about sting rays. They even mentioned the Steve Irwin tragedy that his death was not intentional, with the sting ray using its defense mechanism (and the only defense sting rays have) the tail barb.

MarineLand  tours provides several excursions such as charters, private tours, and special occasions, as well as the tours to Sting Ray City. In 2013 MarineLand tours was bestowed Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence Award. They certainly deserved it, and this is one tour I am highly recommending.

 

 

Apple Recruits University Of Houston Students For At Home Advisors


Apple is not out of reach for college students. Photo courtesy of Kelly Hodgkins @kellyhodgkins.

Recently my state of employment has given me a new status titled ” job hunter.” I have been introduced to the challenges and opportunities that are part of the job hunting foray.

As I eye each job or corporation seeking people to fill their empty spots, I find a diamond in the rough.

While searching through Fortune 500 companies that use Flexjobs.com to help fill their positions, I am often on the look out for employment possibilities for others.

Flexjobs.com specializes in telecommuting, remote/work at home jobs, but has plenty of location jobs to apply for as well.

Apple is today’s employer pick of the “job hunter” guild. Apple’s AppleCare College Program works with University of Houston to hire enrolled students to work for their organization. Students with excellent organizational skills, high critical thinking skills, and has a GPA of at least 2.7 should apply for an at home technical support position.

The position requires a quiet work space and high-speed Internet to learn more requirements click here.

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