<< February '06


March '06

March has been so nice in Texas!  With field trips, live music, and the best damn Mexican food you could ever have what's not to like? We came to realize that we haven't been in Texas for a full year of seasons since '98!?! If you don't know, Greg and Jenn met in San Antonio and their first realized dream was moving to Austin. All the babies were born here and we shipped off to Seattle in Oct '98. From there we began our life on wheels in May '01 and been going ever since. Since '98, we came here for the occasional biz trip, Family event, or holidays but haven't stayed over a couple of months. This is the first Austin, TX Spring we've enjoyed in a very long time.

Part of being in Austin is the Live Music ~ a plethora of it and we're challenging the ways here by trying to get the kids in as many venues and events as possible. The third week of March was phenomenal for our Pro-Fanity... in one week we got to meet Roky Erickson, Norah Jones, Peter Buck (REM), Shawn Mullins, and JD Fortune (INXS lead singer!!!!). 

Our JD meeting was especially cool. We had been having a bad day trying to get some FamiliesRock work done and everything had been going wrong starting around 9am. By 2pm Jenn suggested we let go and have a margarita. Sold. We ended up at a coffee shop. Greg and Jenn actually were able to let go and we began to talk and had one of those talks that really let out our bottled up emotions. We once again re-connected as a couple pretty deeply after about two hours of letting go. We were sitting on a couch in the corner enjoying the kids playing around on the ground in front of us when a Human Being approached us and stated: 'this may sound a little weird, but can I give your kids a gift?'. Smiling, we said something to the effect of whatever. He went out and came back with a brand new, in the box Sony PSP video game and accessories (worth something like $250-$300 we learned later). His only requirement for the kids was that they share the game and when they don't need something to share it as well. The kids were excited. Parents thrilled for the lesson.

We were introduced ~ Jason, Greg, Jenn, Austin, Kesley, Sunny... As we were talking, Jason mentioned that he is a musician on the road which is why he doesn't need this second PSP given to him as a gift after he bought his first. Greg's Families Rock hat went on and was thinking we may be able to work with his band for a show. What band? INXS. Jenn heard it right and saw the INXS tattoo on his wrist. Greg took some introspective time wondering if he knew that name was already taken... or maybe he said M-excess... or maybe something else... did you say INXS? Then it all clicked. The guy was the Rock Star from the TV show we didn't watch (but sure rented it on DVD later).

We actually got to hang out with him for hours at the coolest community coffee shop in town (Ruta Maya) after he was so freakin' generous to slide us that extra PSP, the new INXS CD, a wicked cool shirt he made and performed in ('worst invisible ink ever'), a very Rock n Roll ring right off his finger (GREAT story about giving it to a girl in Los Angeles off the stage and receiving it back from a guy in New York), and a book that he had signed to give to his mom (but she just bought). He actually asked the kids to open for INXS in June if they have a set! Breathe. Yeah. We connected that deeply in that little bit of time. He's just one of those really deep guys and was united with us at a time when we really, really needed that connection with that much life. And Greg did not choke nor tear with emotion during his inspiring story of dreams coming true ~ from living in his car to fronting one of the biggest bands of our time. Cheers to you JD. Thanks for you. Thanks for your generosity and time.

The rare Rock Star photo that none of us look retarded in... no pic with Norah... way out of focus with Shawn... Jenn licking her lips with Peter Buck (ok, not so retarded as frickin' hilarious)...

We must say too ~ GO BUY THE INXS SWITCH CD. IT'S PHENOMENAL MUSIC!!! (yeah, I screamed that. How ya like me now...).

Doing our part to attempt to return the generosity and help load his already over loaded road gear, we gave him some of our TrailerTrash art...

That there is JD Touching Jesus and hmmm mmm does that feel guh oood.. 

He gave us the book 'Rules of the Game' written by Elfreda Pretorius telling us it changed his life. It has helped to change ours. Highly recommended reading. Thanks again JD. That was one of those meetings.

The day we met JD, we were determined to go to the Shawn Mullins concert with the kids. We actually backed out of dinner with JD at our favorite eating place in Austin, Shady Grove, but we're sure to catch up with him some other time or life. 

Greg and Jenn caught Shawn months ago but left the kids. Dumb. This time we took the kids because they absolutely love his music as well. Jenn said it best about Shawn that night on our way to his show ~ he's like our Ernest Hemingway. And Greg did NOT cry like a baby at his show, again during the dream song (don't ask Kes, she lies).

Norah Jones on stage with her band 'The Little Willys' in the last picture we took that evening at the SXSW concert because the batteries died and spares were missing that the kids did not take that we really wanted when we got to talk with her after the show (with dead and missing batteries that the kids did not take). This girl is really really pretty and sweet in person. The 'home schooling / unsocialized' kids are so awesome in that they get in their heads let's go meet Norah and they just know it's going to happen. They stood patiently at a fence near where we thought she might be, then waited even more patiently once we saw her with a group (no interrupting Rock Stars, it's just rude). Once she broke off, the kids gently screamed NORAH!! NORAH!! NORAH!! She came over to the fence and talked with us a generous amount of time. Thanks NORAH!!

Norah's music became a big part of our lives and inspiration at a real down time last year. We were in Monterey, CA and feeling down when we heard her music coming from a boat moored in the harbor and a fella just hangin on his deck. Her music became significant in the feeling we worked to capture back, the relaxation and reality to be bnf at this time in our life. THANK YOU NORAH, for helping save bnf at this time. We love you. thank you.

We also got to see Johnny Cash's daughter, Rosanne Cash, perform at the same show. All the bands were fantastic.

We also got to volunteer for the 4th annual Roky Erickson Psychedelic Ice Cream Social. Check out the pics of that experience here. Thanks much to Linda Lujan for getting us hooked into this...

Roky Erickson is a legendary musician from the 60s being credited with starting 'Psychedelic Music' and influencing bands such as Led Zepellin. Check out his website and support this great musician.

Sumner Erickson (red shirt) is Roky's bro that helps manage Roky's affairs these days. We also got to meet Peter Buck from REM (lead guitar).

So that week in March has meant so much to us because Families Rock is a pain in our passionate ass. We're just working hard to get Families with kids together through great venues and killer music and what sounds simple has been really hard lately. The day we met JD was a perfect example of the resistance we've been feeling and we happen to hear Wayne Dyer's message again the night before. Our tasks just frustrated us one on top of the other so we gave up. Let go. Went to have some coffee. Talked out all our emotions that we hadn't in a while and were feeling very relaxed and free when we started talking about getting even more barenaked again (as in 'camp across America' in tents with backpacks and walking and a wagon for the dogs or kids when they're too tired) when JD walked up to us and offered the kids a present he wasn't going to use. Reminds us of the abundance in the world and how trivial it really all is. If you have two PSP's, the second really doesn't mean squat but the giving of it and yourself means everything. To us. To you. To the world. Through the universe. Give. 

Then during Shawn Mullins we came up with a meaningful slogan we've been struggling with for Families Rock: cheaper than a baby sitter and you love the little freaks anyway. Seems that letting go really does help the creative juices flow.

So don't forget we love all you little barenaked freaks that keep us going on this site. Thanks.

<and A.F. ~ Thanks for the comment.>

Other parts of the month we found much peace amongst the chaos... such as in Smithville, TX where you can buy an entire city block with a giant, historic public school for $450k (asking price). Nyaa nyaa you stinky Californians with your oh so perfect weather...

We all love the movie Hope Floats and decided to go on a fieldtrip to Smithville, Texas where they filmed the movie.  It's a sleepy little town with nice people, cool neighborhoods, and lots of pecan trees.  We had so much fun just walking through town and visiting the little shops and talking with people.  After lunch and shopping we went walking through all the old neighborhoods looking for the house where they filmed Hope Floats.  Since it was such a small town we let the kids split off and cruise around on their own and met up again forty five minutes later at the Hope Floats house.  It was so cool to be in a place where you could do that.

The kids showed up on time and were totally sitting all over the Hope Floats house sidewalk and yard!  The thing about raising kids in RV parks is that boundaries are kinda non-existent.  People are always coming over to say hi or to hang out and so the kids just expected this is how it is in a neighborhood.  We explained to them there is this kinda invisible boundary from the sidewalk that people usually don't cross in a neighborhood.  

The kids thought that was total crap and people shouldn't be like that and share what they have.  They continued sitting on the yard and sidewalk of the Hope Floats house and refused to walk for awhile because they were tired.  And yes people live in that house.  'Lock the doors, you want to get murdered in your bed?'

Sunny turned ten and wanted to have a surprise birthday party.  We arranged one for her around dinnertime because everybody was busy with school and work till then, so she had to wait.  It sucked for her all day because she thought that we weren't doing anything for her birthday at all and she let us know that!  Finally the birthday party came and she forgave us.

Lujan and Bella, Johnna, Isaac, Naomi, Nate, Isaac Jr, Ean, Isaac's sister and boyfriend in from Iraq all helped celebrate with her!

Issac Jr. is just as crazy as he looks!

We also got to celebrate Texas Independence Day, Texas style of course.  Where else can you see a guy ride a Longhorn in the street of the Live Music Capitol of the World?

We have been getting to know Isaac and his Family a lot lately and exchange ghettoness tips.  Here Isaac is explaining to Greg how to play Ozzy in the right key instead of the suggested Mary Had a Little Lamb on the air pipe drums in the Children's Museum.

Isaac Jr. in the sea of good hair.

Taking the party over to dinner, we owned this place tonight!

After dinner we headed over to a show at a local place and literally showed up with a truckload of loud kids, front row parking, and all the ghettoness you could bring.  Imagine a nice, quiet singer songwriter acoustic set going on and a truck backing up right to them and unleashing tons of kids.  With MoHawks.

Yep, that's us right up front taking up the parking lot with our Families.  As the kids were jumping in and out of the truck, running in and out of the cafe, Johnna said 'Man, can we get anymore ghetto?  Isaac said 'Oh yeeeessss, and flipped his leg up on the tailgate.  This is how we do it... Amazing how single people look at us 'breeders'. Do they forget they were once kids ~ and why don't they go Chuck E Cheese every now and then to understand why we so desperately need these venues?  Does anyone else give a stupid crap?

We took the Families Rock equipment to Isaac and Johnna's house for Naomi's birthday party.  It was our first house party with all the equipment so we had to learn how to make it all work outside a nightclub venue.  It was a lot easier at their house because they are selling all their 'stupid crap' and planning on living in an RV to be closer as a Family.  So, we had an empty room to to use! 

And this is what it looked like when we were done!  Fog in suburbia!

Green Day, Guns N Roses, Def Leppard, glow sticks, disco lights, and drum circles.  This was the coolest birthday party ever and the kids totally felt like rock stars.  The neighbors were starting to talk...

You could say we rocked the house down.

I like Families Rock!

Awww...hell...will you marry me?

Unschooling at it's finest.

South by Southwest came to town WooHoo!  Over priced tickets, crowed venues, and so not for Families with kids!  At least there are some free concerts with some amazing artists that we could go to.  We got to see Norah Jones and Roseanne Cash and used our Pro-Fanity to talk to Norah bakstage.  She's wicked cool.

The kids managed to get a picture of Norah Jones before the batteries went out.  Thanks Austin.

Joe Dirt.

Roseanne Cash was great and the kids managed to get up to the front row of all these people for both Norah and Roseanne.  I love to see the kids squeeze through a hot sweaty crowd to get to where they want to be.

We were only able to get pictures of Norah because the batteries ran out.  We usually have a backup pair with us but someone took them out of Jenn's purse and used them for his flashlight, Austin.  So we missed getting pictures of Roseanne Cash.  Austin.

The kids have been working hard at their trailer trash album art and spent the day trying to get their work into local shops.  We found a couple of shops that were able to take them and set up.  So go visit their link on the front page and support great art!

Damn, Shawn Mullins got it going on.  If you don't know his music you're a loser and need to catch up with it now!

Clay Cook was his opening act and was a great guy himself.  We enjoyed his music and loved talking to him after the show.  After the show we tried to find Shawn Mullins and introduce him to the kids.  We know where he parks his RV on the campus when he comes to town so we went over to it.  Don't think he was feeling up to company so the kids hung out for awhile to see if he would come out.  While they were waiting they hid behind bushes and popped out scaring the crap out of college students!

New shirt design after a hundred tries.


April '06 Pictures >>