Musings of a Wanderer

Author Archives: jrnalist27

Today, I realized that I have been so wrapped up in the comings and goings of my mundane life that I’ve failed to post anything in the past 4 weeks! Geez!

Here’s my attempt at an explanation: Guys, I got fired. Yep, that’s right, my diligent ass got the boot, all because I had the flu and couldn’t make it in. Whatever your thinking as you read this is exactly what I thought, too.   

After losing my job, I sort of dove head first into – no, not job hunting – writing a story. Of course, I’ve been job hunting (trust me, I’m not that lazy), I’m just not spending as much energy as I usually do looking for a job to settle with. I’ve decided to broaden my horizons and look for the careers I’m not qualified for. We’ve all been there; in the beginning of our venture toward employment, we’re pretty much willing to do just about anything for a paycheck, and then we want more for our lives. Some of us get lucky and land our dream job without any experience or a degree – those are the lucky ones – and then, there are those of us who aren’t so luck and have to actually work towards a career doing what we love. Inside, I wish I were one of the lucky ones. I’ve been working towards a journalism career for my entire life and it hasn’t gotten me anywhere. I’m not one of the lucky ones, ladies and gents. But, I love writing (obviously) and though there are times I’m unsure whether I’m any good at it, it’s the only thing I’ve got going for me and it’s the one thing I won’t ever give up on. 

So, what’s the point, Dani?

Here’s my answer: The shit we want most in or from our existence on this grand platform does not, I repeat, does NOT fall from the sky. We have to strive for it; we have to cry, sweat and bleed for that shit. Most importantly, we have to work hard and give a lot for the things we’re passionate about because we know that in the end it’ll all be worth it. I’m on the verge of being homeless just so I can become the writer I want to be.

The search for my perfect place in the world of writers is a bitch but in the end, it’ll all be worth it.

So, there you have it, my reason for being such a poor blogger (literally). Fret not, I’ll be back next Sunday with a comfort food recipe for the whole family (including that pesky vegan cousin of yours). For kicks and giggles, I’ve including an excerpt from the novel I’ve been working on, Secrets that Bind (title subject to change). It’s the story of a man with a deadly secret he’s desperate to keep hidden. But after the death of his wife, the very thing he’s tried so hard to keep covered is on the verge of being uncovered and could hurt the daughter he loves. I think you’ll be shocked to find out what he’s hiding. Enjoy!

Namaste and live long and prosper, readers.

Excerpt from Secrets that Bind by Danielle Davis:

Mason got up from the bar and walked coolly out of the lounge.

He had nothing but respect for his father-in-law. Seven years of respect began to crumble into ash after his wife got sick, and a small two month tryst with a co-worker became the proverbial straw that broke the camels back. A man who has an affair is bad enough (he’d already done that), but a man who has an affair while his wife is taking chemotherapy is unforgiveable. Lorenzo couldn’t know the guilt he felt for betraying her. It didn’t matter now. Mason had more than a Castillo grudge to worry about.

The night air, brisk and freezing, made him turn up the collar of his black peacoat. From the curb he hailed a cab. “Mason!” Lorenzo called. His voice commanded his undivided attention. “Listen, what my son’s dis is inexcusable. What you did is not. Your pension for adultery isn’t my concern anymore. You have other activities that concern me,” he said pulling a brown envelope from inside his coat.

As Mason pulled the pictures out of the envelope his father-in-law left him standing in the street.  

(End excerpt)

 

  

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Now that all, most, or just some of the Christmas madness is behind us, it’s time to look forward. To look forward to getting drunk with friends in the middle of the week and proclaiming future failed resolutions for the new year.

It’s those long forgotten resolutions that got me thinking maybe for 2014 I’ll do something a bit different.

When the countdown finishes at midnight on December 31st, I won’t be looking forward like everyone else. Instead, I’ll be taking a moment to look back at the year that’s past. Most importantly, I’ll be celebrating the friends I’ve made, and the things I’ve discovered. 2013 has definitely been a year of discovery for me. I found my passion for photography; I found my nerdy side; I even found my city. I know. That last statement probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, does it? So, what does it mean, Yoda? Well, in the wise words of Tracy Tomms (Death Proof), “Pipe down and I’ll tell you.”

For a long time, I hated Tulsa. There was never really anything to do. To anyone – local or not – Tulsa seemed like a drab and lifeless blip on the map. For what seemed like an eternity, Oklahoma City was the hip and happening mecca of the state.

It happened over night. Tulsa had been plagued by an epidemic. The hipster epidemic.

It was love at first sight.

Soon, local coffee shops were popping up all over midtown and downtown, supporting local organizations and businesses became very popular, events took over Tulsa streets (causing an uproar with the some of the natives, me included) and the local music and art scene exploded into view. Tulsa is finally coming into its own. Although, I love the beards and mustaches that came with it, I’m not a hipster. I just love what it’s done to my city. In 2013 alone, the demographic has changed dramatically. 

I predict that in 2014 Tulsa will still be rebuilding and continuously evolving.

Before the year ends, I want to take a moment to show you just one of the newest, hippest parts of downtown Tulsa: Brady District.

BRADY DISTRICT

I remember when they started doing construction in the Brady District. Life was already frustrating with the additional road construction going on everywhere else in Tulsa. Driving anywhere on US51 was a road rage death trap waiting to happen and it took almost the whole year for both projects to be completed.

I hadn’t frequented Brady District very much because I’m part hermit, part lazy ass. The only thing I knew about Brady was the history behind the man – Tate Brady – the Brady Arts Theater, and my guilty pleasure, Club Majestic. Its taken me a while to muster up the courage to tour the new district, but in the past month I’ve been to three Brady establishments (Hey Mambo, the Hunt Club, and the Vanguard). And like most everyone else, I’m thrilled to find that once the dust had settled and the new Brady was unveiled, our favorite Brady restaurants and night clubs are still there. Patrons are eternally grateful that the city decided to build around our favorites: Mexicali, Spaghetti Warehouse, Brady Theater, Club Majestic, The Tavern, Cains Ballroom, The Hunt Club, the Vanguard, and so many more.

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Most of the buildings got a bit of a facelift – new brick and signage like the Living Arts Gallery, a non-profit gallery that showcases contemporary art. That’s not the only gallery open on Brady. Philbrook Museum opened a gallery just a few steps down from Living Arts where they host a First Friday Art Crawl the first Friday of every month (and there’s a cash bar).

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Beside Philbrook is 108 Contemporary, also a non-profit art gallery that supports and showcases local artists but with a little twist. 108, formerly known as the Brady Craft Alliance, showcases crafts in glass, wood, ceramics, and much more.

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Last but not least – the pride and joy of Tulsa’s Brady District, a museum dedicated to the legend, Woody Guthrie.

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Enough of the art galleries. Let’s get to the food (and beer)! Brady has so much on tap to offer. And food…God, don’t get me started on the food. Brady district is a restaurant haven for foodies. There’s Hey, Mambo, Caz’s Chowhouse, Mexicali, The Tavern, The Hunt Club, Vanguard, Cain’s, Rusty Crane, The Gyspsy, Laffa, Lucky’s etc. If you’re ever hungry or thirsty, Brady is the place to go. (Don’t worry, I’ll do reviews on some of these places in the very near future of LLP). For now, here are a few pictures of just a few of those places.

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Look, I don’t need to keep going on about how awesome Brady District is because I know you’ll go check it out if you live here. If you don’t live here, you should definitely stop by on your next road trip. Or you should keep following Live Long and Prosper and read my reviews, I’ll be doing a few on some of Brady districts restaurants and galleries. I’m excited! Are you?

(Psst! Don’t forget to comment)


Hey, WordPress peeps!

I’ve made a huge mistake on my last post. I forgot to mention another awesome pop-up shop that I visited during my Winter Wonderland adventure.

Meet EllenJ Gifts, Tulsa!

This pop-up shop has all sorts of knick knacks and artistic jewelry for that special someone in your life. EllenJ features the work of artists from all over Tulsa. Let EllenJ help you find the perfect gift. 🙂 I found a few treasures that I plan on going back for before they leave downtown December 30th. 

I hope to see some of my readers there, too.  

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Jewlery Showcase at EllenJ

 

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EllenJ

I want to send a heartfelt apology to the lovely ladies who let me into EllenJ to photograph and learn more about their amazing shop. I let my exhaustion get the best of me and I let them down. Go visit EllenJ, guys! You’ll be amazed at you’ll find – I know I was.  


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Bright and beautiful downtown Tulsa

This weekend downtown Tulsa was alight with bright, beautiful and festive Christmas spirit. Oh, and there were a few lights, too. Winterfest – one of Tulsa’s most anticipated holiday events – on 2nd and Denver started Friday morning and by 7PM was bustling with crowds and crowds of Tulsans and a good amount of ridiculous traffic. It may be just a tad bit smaller than our wondrous capitol, Oklahoma City, but it feels much bigger. I was desperate to give my audience a cornucopia of photographs of Winterfest. So much so that I drove around in circles for about an hour looking for parking. My circular journey was (drumroll, please) unsuccessful. Here is my view of Winterfest…from my car.

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The view from my car of the Winterfest Christmas Tree

The tree alone stood taller than the BOK Center it was placed beside. Immediately, I realize I’m in love. I’ve never seen a tree so tall, or so well dressed. Now I know what Christmas is all about; it’s always been the tree – and, of course, the stuff under the tree.

However, the Christmas tree wasn’t the focus of Winterfest this year. 

Remember back in the 90’s when figure skating was all the rage? Yeah, me, too. I was one of those crazy kids who would rush to the TV and stare all starry-eyed at those glamorous beings in tights, balancing carefully on the very thin slice of sharpened metal.

Well, ladies and gents, figure skating is NOT dead. I know you thought it died when Tonya Harding hired that guy to disfigure Nancy Kerrigan. No, it didn’t. It’s here and thriving at Winterfest! Maybe not figure skating, but ice skating for everyone. For the next three weeks (until January 6, 2014) families can make their way downtown for lights, ice skating, food, and all sorts of family holiday fun.

That’s not all, guys.

When I couldn’t find parking and decided to give up on Winterfest, I headed just a few blocks over to 5th street where I’d heard there are holiday pop-up shops. My holiday adventure had just begun. 

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For those readers who have never been to Tulsa, I’m going to take this time to brag a little. Tulsa fosters some very eclectic, talented, and spirited entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, jewelry makers, storytellers and so much more. The holiday pop-ups I visited Saturday night rekindled my passion for Tulsa, a hidden haven of creative minds.

Inside, I was greeted by bright lights and the bold designs of Biker Babe Bling. And hanging on a hanger to my left something caught my eye. There it was, the perfect gift (for me); a beige zombie pin-up shirt. I just about died when I saw it.

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Biker Babe Bling

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Biker Babe Bling

   

BBB caters to the perfect blend of shoppers and you don’t have to be a biker to love their designs. There were ballsy, beautiful t-shirts for women, creative onesies, ornaments, and (wait for it) even sunglasses for Fido! Biker Babe Bling has something for everybody.

Shop in store at their pop-up until December 30th or online at their website: www.bikerbabebling.com  

Reluctantly, I moved on to Blue Skies and Abelina’s Boutique where I found more gorgeous clothes plus an abundance of delicate jewelry. Blue Skies spoke to my chic, feminine side while Abelina’s compelled my more modern, practical side with their amazing infinity scarves. I had to have one (only $11.00!). I was so happy to find out there was a location in the Farm Shopping Center on 51st and Sheridan. I predict that even after the holidays are over, you’ll become a frequent shopper at these two stores.

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Blue Skies

 

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Abelina’s Boutique

    

Visit Blue Skies and Abelina’s at their websites, too: www.blueskiesshop.com and http://www.abelinas.com

Next, I encountered the amazing creator/owner of Tallgrass Jewlery. Miss Bowden dazzled me with her earthy, hand-crafted jewels. Her necklaces were crafted to perfection, and dazzled with quality stones. 

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Tallgrass Jewlery

 

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Tallgrass Jewlery

 

Check more of Miss Bowdens jewelry at http://www.tallgrassjewlery.com.

There were so many more unique shops in the Deco District that I didn’t have a chance to visit. It’s the perfect area to get your holiday shopping done, grab a bite to eat at Elote (next door) or a silky smooth shake at Mod’s Coffee Shop located right across the street. These are the perfect places to find holiday gifts for everyone you know.

(Note: I know some of you were hoping to see this post earlier, I must apologize for that. I spent my entire morning and afternoon in the kitchen cooking. Everything turned out amazing but I feel awful for keeping you guys waiting. Thank you for reading! Comment, check out the shops mentioned, and let me know what you think and what you got.)

 

 

 


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This banana protein shake will help replenish your potassium storage after a long night of debauchery.

Everybody knows the day after a night of bar hopping and the ingestion of copious amounts of beer, tequila, and cute girly cocktails, can leave your body feeling sluggish, toxic, and foreign. You probably did some things you normally wouldn’t; like order a Wendy’s chicken sandwich with bacon – and you’re a vegetarian. Tsk, tsk.

At some point we’ve all been there.

“Drinking leads to positive decision making,” said no one, ever. There’s nothing positive about dancing on the pool table of your local bar…stripping. 

Some sage advice: Before you stumble into the house and start rummaging through your fridge or pantry, pour yourself a tall glass of water. No, ladies, I do not mean Ryan Gosling. I mean a literal glass of water. It’s the cure to everything.

The alcohol you just consumed dehydrated you horribly. That tall drink of divine refreshment will keep you hydrated after you’ve passed out on the kitchen floor. And the next day you’ll be saved from dry mouth and aches.  

It’s 10AM the next morning and you’re disappointed in yourself for over sleeping; your guilty mind is retracing the steps that aren’t a total blur and you feel like you were infected with some God-awful virus, then hit by a semi. However, before you spend the next 10 minutes either worshipping the porcelain god or sitting on it, one might wonder how to escape the hangover doldrums.

The solution is simple and one you’ve known since grade school: breakfast. Everyone’s always saying how it’s the most important meal of the day. They’re not kidding. Breakfast (especially with a hangover) really is the most important meal of the day. In your best pitiful, whinny voice you say, “But I don’t wanna eat anything right now. I’m so nauseous.” Suck it up, buttercup. By the time you wake up from your drunken stooper, your body is dehydrated, your blood sugars are all fucked up, and certain nutrient storages have been seriously depleted. 

Once your session at the porcelain throne is finished, take your lethargic behind to the kitchen, grab your blender (if you have one), and make a Hangover Bananza (get it?) protein shake. Why? Well, you may not remember the haze you called a party, but you do remember all those trips to the bathroom. Chances are you pissed away your potassium. That peanut butter/banana protein shake you just made will replenish your potassium storage.

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Hangover Bananza

1 Ripe Banana

1 large Tbs Peanut Butter

1-1 1/2 Tbs honey

1-2 cups filtered water (for additional hydration)

1-2 scoops of soy or whey vanilla protein

Blend and enjoy!

So, maybe you’re not a fan of bananas. Or you’re a broke college student who can’t afford any right now. There are other ways to say “Good riddance!” to that pesky hangover.

I know from experience that a glass of fresh squeezed juice is a Godsend after a night of alcoholic debauchery and devilry. I didn’t acquire a juicer until after college because they can cost anywhere from $100 to $400! But, in the meantime, I used my trusty handheld juicer to make O.J. Orang juice, especially, raises your blood sugar. It’ll work wonders since your blood sugars will be low from the alcohol. Although, if you’re feeling like someone’s shaking your stomach in a cocktail mixer, you may want to ditch the orange and go with the apple.

Now, a word from our sponsor, Ginger:

Nauseous? Riddled with projectile vomiting? Brew some ginger tea!

Ginger Tea

(From Discovery Fit and Healthy)

10-12 slices of fresh ginger root

Juice from 1 orange

Juice from 1/2 lemon

1/2 cup honey

4 cups filtered water

Boil slices of ginger in 4 cups of water for 10 minutes, strain and add orange juice, lemon juice, and honey.

My friends, I urge you to remember the cardinal rules of drinking: 1) Know your limits when indulging in the pleasures of your cocktails; 2) Remember that alcohol lowers inhibitions, and brings out your inner wild child; 3) Always have a designated driver, and most importantly, 4) Have fun while you can because the next day is gonna be a real bitch.

I can’t guarantee you’ll wake up in your own bed, or in any bed at all, but I can promise you these remedies will help ease your suffering.

Namaste and happy trails! 

*I relish any positive feedback from followers or just passersby. Thanks for reading!*