All posts filed under “Local Gumbeaux

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33-YEARS OLD, HAS S*** TOGETHER. HERE’S HOW!

I turned 33 on October 12th and almost instantly, I had my shit together.

Just kidding, clickbait.

Per tradition, I reflect on the previous year and set goals for the next year. Obviously, becoming Baby Gumbeaux’s mom and adjusting to motherhood was the biggest event of the year. To compliment that adjustment, I resigned from every organization and board, with the exemption of PTA . My true calling (Read: 10-Months-Old, Parties Like a Rockstar & Does Not Care If We Get Sleep). As a result, I am spending my time the way I want. Well, with the exception of the time I spend working for the man. Anyway, I have more time to focus on family and my personal goals which include, but are not limited to:

Not complaining. Complaining about being in Jackson, lack of advancement in my career, not being able to find a foundation to match my skin tone, etc. Now, I am only discussing what I want and taking action which often includes balancing a shitload of stuff, because I want to accomplish a shitload of things. To compliment this change, I recite affirmations every morning but then I found out Baby Gumbeaux was slapping her classmates for touching her hair and bib so I started reciting them with her, on the way to school. Naturally, we started including Husband Gumbeaux or should I call him Daddy Gumbeaux? Zaddy Gumbeaux?

Launching my podcast entitled Jxn Transplants. Now, I get to be honest about my struggle to adjust and know there are other transplants who relate. It also gives a ton of recommendations to transplants, Jacksonians, and even people who want to visit Jackson. Apparently, that is a thing.

Taking pictures more often. Not for you weirdos, in general. I detest taking pictures. I don’t know how to pose, my eyes are usually closed, terrible angles; mostly importantly, I don’t like smiling. Thugs don’t smile. I think it’s because I have become increasingly uncomfortable with my body; particularly, after incubation.

Last and least but certainly not least, I have to finish writing my dissertation. I’ve been talking about this for the last few years (I enrolled in the program a year after starting this blog). I have tons of excuses: sick and tired, interested but uninterested, dreams and goals have changed, struggling to find the relevancy of having a PhD, drained, merely thinking about it is exhausting. Actually, I’m going to take a nap.

And, I’m up. Fun fact: I am still paying tuition and have to remain enrolled if I want to finish this very last step. As a result, I will finish. Prayer warriors, reach your hands out to me and help me get through this. I may include you in the acknowledgements. Side note: it’s super annoying when people who have never been enrolled in a doctoral program ask me what’s taking so long. What’s taking so long for you to mind your business? 

Yeah, so… I accept your belated birthday wishes. I am still accepting gifts and money. As stated many times before, my friendship can be bought. Listen to my podcast and tell me I’m doing an awesome job. Read and share my previous post: Fun Facts My Parents (and Grandparents) Don’t Know

Follow me most places @pinkgumbeaux.

Ashlee, out.

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CLOUDS & CRAYONS LIVE

We’re here!

As founder of the Frenemies of Jackson, I Want to Go Home and But There Is Nothing to Do Associations, I’ve worked hard to not assimilate. Sadly, I’m more informed about what’s going on in New Orleans than in Jackson. But after 14 years, I guess I can give Jackson a shot. Right? This means attending more local events which brings me to Let’s Talk Jackson’s 3rd Live show. Read about their first show here! This show was hosted by Chellese Hall and featured Clouds & Crayons (comprised of Astin Rocks, singer, poet and like 10 other things along with Loki Antiphony, producer and multi-instrumentalist). Their sound is described as a blend of electric, soul, rock, hip hop and R&B which could also be described as “all the above.”

Chellese saying something along the lines of “thanks for coming out, this group is awesome, download Satchel and listen to Let’s Talk Jackson.”

The format was a bit different because part of the interview was recorded without the audience. We were sitting next door where we should’ve been listening but was chatting so I actually listened to the interview a couple of days ago. At one point in the interview, I can hear laughter in the background; specifically, me. When I do actually laugh, it’s very loudly. I should also mention the room was filled with snacks and booze (that I couldn’t drink because westerners don’t support tipsy pregnant women). Anyway.

“lalalalalalalala, ohhhhh yeaaaaah!”

When you listen to the episode, songs are inserted throughout the interview but we got a full concert. 5 songs to be exact (Ugly Like Noise, The Nod, Contradiction, Dangerous Crush and Nightmare). My favorite is Contradiction because who can’t relate to that? We received the backstory behind each song and then were quickly impressed by how just 2 people were able to create such a large sound. I won’t attempt to describe the process which would probably be super disappointing to my musician/producer Dad.

I don’t know what to caption this one. Maybe guitar, guitar, button then guitar?

Last but not least, it was great meeting Astin in person (we’re Instagram friends). And, she was happy to know Pink Gumbeaux is a real person. Well, it depends on what you consider as “real.” I am pretty fake in my everyday life. Listen to their interview here, buy their album as well as one of those buttons for me (it looks exactly like the album cover and is super cute). Read and share my previous post: 48+ Faux Product Reviews

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THE STORY OF MY FIRST & LAST CANOE TRIP

Dirty little canoe, dirty little life jackets, dirty little paddles and my badass backpack.

I remember premarital counseling like it was yesterday. I was told to be Husband’s playmate so despite being scared of heights, I traveled into mountains and caves on our honeymoon. Despite not being able to swim, we went canoeing last weekend.

Previously, I was a bit bummed about missing the French Quarter and Ponchatoula Strawberry Festivals but was fairly over it. But guess who wasn’t? Husband. The entire week he secretly plotted on how to make the upcoming weekend awesome; although, I planned to attend a local event. Friday, he informed me that we were going canoeing and proceeded to shop for our picnic. My first thought? Is he trying to kill me? Surely he knows I don’t have the best life insurance, it’s best if he keeps me alive. So, I decided to be adventurous; although, I sort of kind of don’t like being outside, have skin allergies that are most active in the Spring and Summer, CAN’T SWIM, hate bugs, reptiles and whatever else lurks in the wild, and CAN’T SWIM!

We drove about 30 minutes outside of Jackson to D’Lo Park. Once we arrived, we had to complete a form stating we wouldn’t damage their already damaged equipment and to provide an emergency contact. Do you know who my emergency contact is? The guy who was taking me canoeing! Upon departure, we were given jinky directions regarding our canoe route. After 3 or so hours, we would see a big bridge that we shouldn’t go under or turn but try to park; although, it was washed out. Then, we should call the Park People to pick us up. We were confused because there are bridges along the route but whatever. We drove a few feet and met up with our dirty little canoe which contained 2 dirty little life jackets and 2 dirty little paddles. For 30 bucks, what was I expecting? Once in the canoe, Park Guy gave us a push and off we went!

Shortly after I killed the spider who tried to kill me.

Immediately after entering the river I exclaimed “I don’t like this.” We were closer to the water than I expected, there was more water than I expected, the boat was rockier than I expected and did I mention the canoe was dirty? Shortly after, I made eye contact with a spider. Why is a spider in our canoe already? Did he just get here or hopped in when he saw us so he could rob and shank us? After I MURDERED him (spider), I noticed we were the only people on the river. Not only were we the only people on the river but we are also black which increased our chances of being murdered (like the spider) and our bodies never being found. It was the perfect plot for a horror movie.

Canoeing is more difficult than I imagined. There were lots of bends (turns), fallen trees and rocks we had to dodge. Of course, Husband didn’t want me to help paddle. According to him, I didn’t know what I was doing which was interesting because he didn’t know what he was doing either.

Guess who’s having a blast in the dirty little canoe?

I was an anxious mess the entire time; although, I didn’t vocalize it much. I just hoped we would get down the river in half the time we were told (3 hours). Probably a mile or so into our trip, Husband turned the boat around. You guys, literally a mile down the river and maybe 30 minutes into our trip. He knew I hated it. Me: “But isn’t going against the current going to be hard?” Husband: “Canoes are made for this.” I think it took us the same amount of time to go back as it did to go down stream. As we approached the dock, I got into a paddle scuffle with a dragonfly. He kept trying to land next to me and I was like “no, I don’t know you and I don’t like bugs.” Husband: “Stop before you flip out of the boat!”

As we pulled up, there were 2 Bite-sized demons (kids) throwing rocks at our canoe. Had I not been scared to rock and fall out of the canoe, I would’ve thrown them back and wouldn’t have missed. Shortly after, we were pulled out of the water. Land! We had a picnic on the side of the river when Husband revealed the snakes and other wildlife he saw. If you can remember, I just got in a fight with a dragonfly so imagine how I would’ve reacted if I saw a snake. Overall, I’m glad I went. How else would I know I’m never going again?

Our view while eating lunch.

Read and share my previous post: Faux Product Review 45: Rock Hard Hardener & Basecoat

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THE AWESOMELY REVIEW 

Last night, I attended the first installment of Greater Jackson Arts Council’s “Creative Empowerment.” Their first speaker: Luvvie Ajayi *screams*

Source: GJAC

Source: GJAC

To be quite honest, I had no idea what this event was about. Is this part of her book tour? Is this a club appearance? Is she going to give us one of those TED Talk-like speeches? Is she going to drive pass Duling Hall and toss her book at our heads? It really didn’t matter, she is the definition of blogger goals. Not only was I going but I went VIP (which included a itty bitty but delicious lemonade cocktail, appetizers, and an autographed copy of her book “I’m Judging You: The Do Better Manual“).

Nice set, right?

DJ Java

VIP, tricks!

I spent weeks thinking about an awesome, life-changing question I could ask her. And when I got the chance to finally meet her, I had nothing. But, I got a selfie. That’s sufficient, right?

That’s my name!

We’re basically, almost best friends now!

I sat on the front row (where people of my stature sit but mostly because I paid for a VIP ticket). Because I’m a bit neurotic, I brought a notebook to take notes. I didn’t want to miss a thing!

Luvvie and Fanta

Although I saw a card that advertised her lecture as “Get Smart About Social Media: How to Maintain a Clean Online Reputation” that’s not really what she lectured about and I’m glad. So what exactly did she talk about? If you were there, you would know. Ultimately, the purpose of her lecture was to let her readers (aka Luv Nation) know that she is not an overnight success, more like a 14-year success. She gave us a very detailed timeline of events which started with her friends encouraging her to start a blog in undergrad. Throughout school and a career she loathe, she consistently blogged which ultimately lead to opportunities such as being on the red carpet at the Oscars, Black Women in Hollywood Brunch, moderating panels for the White House, becoming a NYTimes Best-Selling Author and then having that best-seller turned into a series! After her lecture, locals joined her for “Awesomely Hot Topics”

Panelists: Donna Ladd, Maisie Brown, Jon Salem and Pam Junior. Moderated by Joy Redmond. Fanta made the shot again.

Errr, I do like that locals were included but didn’t necessarily kind of sort but not really think it was necessary *Kanye shrug* I came to see Luvvie and thought she would’ve done a better job. After all, that’s really what’s she’s known for. Lastly, was a super good question and answer segment.

On Writing: She didn’t consider herself a writer because it wasn’t something she saw in her environment. She also told us not to spend all day editing. “Perfect is the enemy of progress.”- Luvvie

On Fear and Failure: Fear of failure can push us to greatness but if we think things aren’t working out, we should have a plan. She got what she thought was her dream job and quit on the first day. That must’ve felt glorious. However, she had her parents as a safety net which a lot of us don’t have. As a result, she emphasized “stacking paper” and “aggressively saving.”

On Mississippi and Brain Drain: Our geography doesn’t matter because social media provides a global platform. She talked about having friends all over the world, thanks to social media.

On How to Be Successful: Surround yourself with the right people. She listed 3 types of leaders: Visionary, Builders and Sustainers. If you’re a visionary, surround yourself with builders and sustainers and vice versa. She also talked about personal investments such as getting a lawyer. She stressed it so much that I thought about retaining one while she was speaking. I do have a lot of attorney friends so I guess it’s time to have that “how much would you charge for 20 minutes” conversation.

The moderator put Rita B. (Read: Condoms, Comedy & Husband’s Bruised Ego) on the spot. She wanted her to discuss how surrounding herself with the right people advanced her career. In that same conversation, Luvvie told Rita that she was already receiving the signs she needed but that she didn’t take herself seriously, that she needed to get her social media accounts verified, and that she would talk to her after the show. What now?! You’re going to talk to her after the show and give her advice?*screams*

On the Impostor Syndrome: She has suffered from the Impostor Syndrome but often analyzes her way out of it, she didn’t get where she is by accident. She told us to be grateful that we are in the room, people who are far less talented are often in the room and never question themselves and that if enough people tell you that you’re gifted, believe them.

The best advice: She’s always done what she felt like doing, lived in her truth, payed attention to only what she was doing and did what she loved. Overall, it was an awesome and affirming event. I guess I really didn’t need to ask her any questions because she answered everything I thought about asking. I know a lot of us bloggers and creatives have the same insecurities and wonder if it’s worth it. I guess we can stick it out a little longer, right?

Bravo to Greater Jackson Arts Council! It was a really good launch to the Creative Empowerment Series and I look forward to the next lecturer!

Read and share my previous post: What’s in My Box? January HuesBox

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JACKSON INDIE MUSIC WEEK-ISH  

JIMW

Source: JIMW

Last week, I attempted Jackson Music Indie Week:

Jackson Indie Music Week is a celebration of Central Mississippi’s independent music scene. It is a week-long series of concerts, showcases, panels, and parties, spotlighting creatives from the genres of Rock, Hip Hop, EDM, Blues, and Independent Film & Video. Jackson Indie Music Week aims to honor what has come to be known as the “Birthplace of America’s Music” in none other than the entertainment capital of Mississippi.

Prior to JIMW (I’m not sure if this acronym is a thing but I’m making it a thing), I planned to attend every single event *insert look of determination here* but after looking at the schedule I concluded “this ain’t gone happen.” It’s nearly impossible to attend every single event so I narrowed it down to 8 events then 7 *insert full-time job and my dissertation chair giving me the side eye because… dissertation* resulting in me attending a whopping 4 events!

*slow clap*

Anyway, the first event I attended was Women in Music Panel: Advice and Best Practices for Aspiring Indie Artists.

Panel

Panel Guests: Tawanna Shaunté, Teneia, and Sherry Cothren. Moderated by Amanda Furdge.

While I’m no musician, singer or songwriter, I am music adjacent. Dad is a musician and producer (@smallworldstudiono) and I wanted to gain some insight in the event I join the family business but got more than expected.

On longevity: The panel’s careers ranged from 10 to 30 years, all of the women love what they do (obviously) and said that music was worth the sacrifice but wasn’t really a sacrifice.

“I hope you are doing something that makes you happy.” -Amanda Furdge

On balance: Hone your craft, learn and adapt, know what your vision is, you don’t need to have a lot of resources but be resourceful and surround yourself with people who can help you grow.

“Invest in yourself, celebrate every accomplishment. No one will validate you like you validate you.” -Tawanna Shaunté

On advantages and disadvantages: Doing what you love; in contrast, sometimes you will have to say no and can’t bring everyone along. You work from home, call the shots but it can be hard to balance. You are a business, not just an artist.

On branding: Outsource and collaborate but know every aspect of the business so no one screws you over. Mississippi is unique when it comes to branding and socializing but social media has made it possible to connect with people; however, face-to-face interaction is just as important.

In sum, everyone seems to be working on new music so be sure to follow them on social media for updates.

“If you bring all the ingredients and a stove, I’m finna cook.” -Amanda Furdge on creating your own lane

Dayyyyyys later, I attended the EDM Party at the Russell C. Planetarium.

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There was music in both the lobby and theater by DJ Tree, 360 Degrees, DJ Uri, DJ Repercussion, Taboo, DJ Tam, Daphya Selecta, Rob Roy and  Monoxide, a live painting and light photography by T.J. Ledger. The environment was a little more chill than I expected. I practiced dance moves just to stand or sit around? So, I did what any logical person would do. I stood and sat around but still had fun. Next was Shorts: Film Showcase

shorts

Featuring films by Jordan Henry, Ashley Norwood, Isabella Kinder, Thomas Haffey, Charles Jett and more.

Did you know we had filmmakers? I suppose that information is hard to come by if you don’t run in that circle but we got an opportunity to see films we usually don’t have access to. Last but not least was the Wrap Party.

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Official Wrap Party at And Gallery. Featuring: The Stonewalls & Special Guest DJ

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We arrived on time (because Husband and I are old), engaged in introverted activities (such as talking to mostly each other), and viewed new work by Adrienne Domnick. Side note: Could someone buy me that Janelle Monae painting and or T-shirt? 

Overall, I think it’s an awesome event and look forward to attending more activities next year. In contrast, I had a hard time getting friends to attend because most of the events were during the work week. I know what you’re thinking, you can’t please them all but if this event operated like the Jazz Fest (with concerts over a series of weekends), it may draw more locals and tourists. Also, I wonder if any college students knew about it. Although Jackson is basically a college town, there is often a disconnect (and I am speaking as someone who moved here for college). Then again, I’m not sure if their attendance could be accommodated (we are talking tens of thousands of students). Last but not least, the Planetarium needs a lot of work which has nothing to do with this event but I need someone to renovate it (and no, the City of Jackson can’t afford to). While we are waiting for Jackson to recruit a movie theater, that could be the movie theater. Any who, who attended JIMW? Did I paint such a compelling picture that you can barely wait until next year? I know, you’re welcome!

Read (watch) and share my previous post: What’s in My Box? Hues Inaugural Box