Fair Bean Coffee Open Mic

July 11th, 2012 at 4:41 pm by under Photo/Video

Every Friday for the past 3 years, Amy Zamarippa has been hosting an open mic at Fair Bean Coffee at 2210 South 1st Street in South Austin. On Friday, July 6th, I joined her for some great tunes and poetry. Amy opened with some of her original songs, “New Day”, “Rose”, “Come to the Water”, Big Sexy”, and a cover of Willie Dixon’s “Can’t Quit You Baby”.

Smoky Talmanson joined Amy on harmonica for her original song “Cobalt Blues” and then went on to play & sing covers of “Where Have All The Flowers Gone”, WildWood Flower”, a patriotic medley of “America The Beautiful”, “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” and “This Land is Your Land”. He closed his set with a cover of “Faded Love”. 

Next up was D7 with three of his own songs, “London”, The Celery Stalks at Midnight” and “Baby Blue Tweets”. I took the mic next with my originals “Believe In Yourself”, When Will You Know” and “Movin’ On”. It was really fun to do and the response from the audience was great! After I finished we had some original poetry readings by Thom Woodruff. 

Next up was Preston Smith with his original tunes, “Wild Woman”, “Father Mother Sister Brother” and “Two White Horses”.  Chase Kreger followed with his original songs “Never Know”, “Five In The Morning” and “Despite Tonight”. From there we moved on to Justin Follin who entertained us with original songs “The Sweetness of the South”, “Izabella’s Waltz” and “From the Cavern In the Dirt”.

Closing out the show was Gary Devries with his original song “Crows Have Flown” and two covers, Guy Clark’s “Hemingway’s Whiskey” and Slaid Cleave’s “Broke Down”.  We played from 5PM until 7:30Pm and had a blast sharing our music and making new friends.

So this Friday or the next, stop on by Fair Bean Coffee after work and join us either as part of the audience or step up behind the mic for some real fun! See you there! 

Click here to see the photos!

What more could you ask for?

February 6th, 2012 at 1:21 pm by under Photo/Video
At the line      tvtomee/kxan

at the line. tvtomee/kxan

     Often, finding the proper elements to visually tell your story, can be as easy as finding a needle in a haystack. Occasionally, an opportunity will present itself to get exactly what you are looking for. When that occurs, one would be encouraged to take full advantage.

     In the fall of 2011, we got a tip about some financial irregularities surrounding a youth football organization in north Austin. At the time, we didn’t have a lot to go on. Although after a quick discussion, we decided to strike while the iron was hot. The teams had played their final games of the season, but there was an opportunity to get video of the team during their final practice of the year.

Months later, the video would be worth it’s weight in gold.

     Shot during the golden hour of a fall evening, The video is colorful and vibrant.  Not to mention the perfect vehicle to drive home a story about the time and financial commitments parents of the association make in order to provide their children with a structured, healthy activity.

Charity does begin at home…

February 6th, 2012 at 11:18 am by under Photo/Video

Last week, I met 7-year old, Teagan Boyd. She decided to do something special for her most recent birthday.  At an age when most youngsters crave  presents on their birthday, Teagan gave back by asking her friends to help her donate to the Superhero Kids program at  the Children’s Blood and Cancer Center of Dell Children’s Medical Center. The fund helps patients and their parents. Teagan raised $1000, and she was matched by  Austin Philanthropist Milton Verret and the co-founder of the Superhero Kids Endowment, John Joseph. The total was over $4000.

Teagan’s mom, Angel Tarrant, is very  proud of her Casis Elementary first-grader.  I found her to be a sweet and articulate young girl, a pleasant reminder that charity does indeed begin at home. It also reminds me of why I enjoy what I do, meeting great people and telling good stories. Catch Teagan’s story here:

Teagan Boyd and her friend, Parker Yax, present a check to the Superhero Kids.


“Its Googly, just Googly”

January 30th, 2012 at 3:38 pm by under Photo/Video

A couple of weeks ago, KXAN reporter Doug Shupe and I had the privilege of touring the Google offices in North Austin. I must say that the thought of applying to work at this office, crossed my mind more then once during our tour. Take a look at our story from a couple of weeks ago, and you be the judge. Are you feeling “Googly?

What’s the best place to work?:

Ultimate Christmas Movies

December 24th, 2011 at 11:26 pm by under Photo/Video, Uncategorized

In the Ingles family during the holiday season, there are always the must-see holiday movies. As I sit alone on this Christmas Eve, watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, it got me thinking, what are my top five holiday movies? Well, here is the list and I have checked it twice.

1) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

The little lights aren't twinkling Clark!

The sarcastic comments launched at family members and a father obsessed with having the perfect family Christmas make this movie what it is. Not to mention, it is set in my home state of Illinois. One cannot help but laugh at the uncouth Uncle Eddy–because we all have family members we prefer to keep on the down low. How could you share the same DNA with that person? Not to mention, the older relative who is losing her mind and sings the Pledge of Allegiance instead of saying Grace.

Most memorable Griswold quotes:

  • “The little lights, they aren’t twinkling Clark”
  • “You taught me everything I know about exterior illumination”
  • “Is your house on fire Clark?”
  • “Is Rusty still in the Navy?”
  • “Hey Griswold, where are you going to put a tree that size?”
  • Why is the stereo all wet, Todd?”  Reply: “I don’t know Margo”
  • “You better take a rain check on that Art, he has a lip fungus that hasn’t been identified yet”
  • “If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I would not be more surprised than I am now”

I absolutely love this movie so much, I even based by Christmas Eve report on it.  Go watch!




2) Home Alone                                               

Kevin? Keeeevvvvvviiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnn?

Again, another holiday movie filmed in Illinois!  When Home Alone first hit theaters, my brother Bob and I saw it 13 times! Each time was funnier than the last.  Since that time, this has become an Ingles family classic. I may not live at home, but when it is on, my family and I are texting back and forth with movie quotes. This is one of my favorite movies.

Most memorable quotes/scenes (where do I start?):

  • The ultimate is when Marv has a tarantula put on his face and screams.  (Did you know that Daniel Stern allowed producers to put the tarantula on his face once and his scream was actually edited in later?)
  • “You know, Kevin, you’re what the French call les incompetents”
  • “Ugh, Buzz’s girlfriend”  (FYI, the picture was actually a boy with a wig on!)
  • “I think we’re getting scammed by a kindergartner”
  • “I know that name Snakes”  Reply: “Snakes, no, no I don’t know no Snakes”

Fun fact: Producers got the idea for Home Alone after McCauley Culkin starred in Uncle Buck.  In that movie, Buck’s girlfriend comes over to babysit two children that are home alone!



3) Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (of course!)

Suck brick kid!

Sequels are usually bad. This one was arguable better than the original movie!  Instead of being Home Alone, Kevin McCallister boards the wrong flight at O’Hare (again, set in Chicago) and jets to NYC while his family heads to Florida on another plane.  Once there, the goofball burglars he sent to jail, Marv and Harry, are fugitives on the run!

Memorable Quotes:

  • “Suck brick kid”
  • “Maybe I’m off my hinges, but I believe you. That’s why I’m gonna let you go. I’m gonna give you to the count of three to get your lousy, lyin’, low-down, four flushing carcass OUT my door! 1… 2… “
  • “We are no longer the wet bandits, we are the sticky bandits, S-T-ugh”

Fun fact: Duncan’s Toy Chest was actually a bank in Chicago’s financial district converted into a toy store.






4) Scrooged

I was a schmuck, and now I'm not a schmuck!

Filmed in 1988, my older brothers would always watch this movie. I will admit, as a younger girl, some of the scenes scared me, but as an adult, I see the humor in the movie along with a great message.  Plus, who doesn’t just love Bill Murray?

Memorable Scenes/Quotes:

  • “I don’t mind you shooting at me, Frank, but take it easy on the Bacardi! “
  • “Close your eyes…! And think of snowflakes and moonbeams and whiskers on kittens”
  • “We’re gonna need champagne for 250 people, and send the stuff that you send to me. Don’t send the stuff that I send to other people”








5) Christmas Story

Ralphie Parker and his BB gun.  Who can ever forget, “You will shoot your eye out” or “drink your ovaltine?”  The movie, leg lamp in all, is a classic.  And whose mother didn’t over do it when came to bundling them up to play outside in the cold? And remember when Ralphie says a cuss word and gets a bar of soap in his mouth? YUCK

Fun Facts:

  • The actor who played Ralphie, Peter Billingsley, went on to become a producer in Hollywood
  • The Cleveland home the movie was filmed in is actually a museum now that is a tribute to the movie.



“Operation Turkey”

November 28th, 2011 at 1:24 pm by under Photo/Video

Thanksgiving Day was my scheduled day to work. I admit, while driving in Thursday morning, I couldn’t help but think of my family spending Thanksgiving without me at home. Nevertheless, I proceeded on to work. My first assignment of the day was to go up to North Austin to shoot this event called “Operation Turkey.” Some of you might have heard about this but for those of you who haven’t, it is for a great cause. Through various sponsors and volunteers the Bikini Sports and Bar Grill host this annual event to prepare Thanksgiving meals for the less fortunate. When I arrived, I was amazed at the turnout. Thousands of people were there standing in line waiting to deliver meals to needy Austinites. Seeing this, reminded me of how very fortunate and blessed I am to have my family, and it is also a reminder that things can happen at a drop of hat, and your life is not to be taken for granted.

Operation Turkey

How exactly do you mic a robot?

October 19th, 2011 at 1:03 pm by under Photo/Video

With a little gaffer’s tape and a lot of patience I imagine. Jim Swift and I visited a local hi-tech gaming company that utilizes a unique method for the boss to stay in touch with creative team members while he is away. Bridging the gap between Austin and New York with a robotic twist…be sure to catch this fun story atthe following link:

the tunnel tells all…the game before the game

October 11th, 2011 at 3:32 pm by under Photo/Video, Sports

Everyone has their own pregame ritual. Walk thru any parking lot on the way tot the way to the stadium and you will run the gamete of everyone’s own idea of what makes a great pregame. The smell of brats, steaks with that special seasoning…martinis, margarita’s and beer…or iced tea…horse shoes, throwing the ball around….it’s just makes for a great time. My pregame ritual is simple….get into the stadium with the least amount of headaches and traffic even if it means getting to the game 3 hours early. Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you it is best I don’t deal with traffic.

Nothing compares to the traffic inside the tunnel at the Cotton Bowl. The players, band, Bevo and Boomer Sooner all make for a busy place where a lot of things you don’t realize happen — happen. It’s one of my favorite things, just to sit in the tunnel and watch the game before the game. This week the Freshmen played like Freshmen for the first time this year and having seen the Oklahoma tactics before the game, I can see why. All things being equal — isn’t as much fun as when Stoops and Co. try to intimidate the younger horns. It’s really fun to watch because both teams do it depending on the year and the mojo they have going. Guys like Blake Gideon aren’t affected but others have to be like wow.

First, Bob Stoops comes out early to the field and that’s not normal in most years but I feel like he was trying to win pregame this year as well. The Longhorns all came out to the field after arriving in two’s and three’s….just to walk around the field like they do for every game. The Sooners all came out together like a band of intimidators in full uniform without the shoulder pads and it looked like a remake of the movie 300. They were jumping around and I could just tell by the body language of the other players that they had taken note of the situation and were tip toeing back to the locker room. Stoops made more field appearances this year than in the past three years. The Sooners definately had a plan to intimidate the FReshmen and this year it worked. It’s the game before the game and it happens every year. You can count on the Oklahoma band to stop in front of the Texas locker room and play boomer sooner loudly and Texas does the same thing. the only one who gets everyone out of the way is Bevo. By the time the teams come out of the tunnel to start the game their has already been the pregame contest.

I’d just tell Oklahoma one thing — it might have worked this year but looking into David Ash’s eyes there in the fourth quarter — he will remember it all and next year the same tactics will not work and you can bet Bob Stoops won’t be on the field near as much next year. Next year maybe you might want to get there early like I do and watch the pregame for the game that is the infamous Cotton Bowl Tunnel.

Morton’s freedom spawns busy day

October 5th, 2011 at 2:22 pm by under Photo/Video

Sometimes stories come around that are truly one of a kind in a photojournalist’s realm of experiences.  Yesterday’s Michael Morton bond hearing in Williamson County was just such a story for me. Watching a man gain his freedom after nearly 25 years in prison for a crime he did not commit was a rare opportunity. Even seasoned photogs like myself drop their “seen it all” attitude and admit to the emotion of the event. Hearing the judge set Michael free, watching him exhale repeatedly in disbelief, and finally succumbing to the poignant picture of him hugging his mother all made for highlights of a truly long  and busy day. Behind the scenes, the media’s work diligently and quietly moves along to a mutual end. What starts as organized work spaces soon morphs into an organized chaos of twisted cables and tripod spaces all in search of that singular shot . “Mark your spot, watch your step, and stay out of my shot!” is the shared mantra! These pics hopefully will give you a hint of the activity behind the lens and the energy in the room. Professionally, days like this are ultimately rewarding for a variety of reasons, especially when you  make slot.  Personally, it makes you count your blessings.

Spicewood: It takes a community to rebuild

September 25th, 2011 at 8:15 pm by under Photo/Video, Weather

I was out of town visiting family when the 6,400 acre wildfire broke out in Spicewood. Normally, a drive I take to work a couple days a week is filled with the great scenery on Highway 71. The jaw drop that occurred when I came back and saw the destruction a wildfire left in its place had me telling my news team on a conference call that parts of Spicewood looked like a scene out of a Tim Burton movie.

Tim Burton movie set or Spicewood?

The Spicewood fire undoubtedly was overshadowed by the fire that occurred in Bastrop. The Hill Country, however, is my territory and beat. Any chance I get to go out there, I do. I’ve made it my goal to make sure KXAN reports and gives coverage to the fire victims there.

Fire Ravaged Home off Paleface Ranch Road

The fire ravaged 6,400 acres and the cause still has not been disclosed. I have no doubt rebuilding will take months and regrowth of trees and vegetation will take even longer. What is great is that the community is coming together to help. Every time I am out on a story, I hear about volunteers giving their time and energy to help clean up. On Sunday, the Cazalas family worked along with colleagues and neighbors to clean up their two acre property. They have nothing left except what is in a wheelbarrow. Sitting under a tree, the wheelbarrow is filled with charred jewelry, pots, pans and one melted Christmas ornament.

What is left of heirlooms

It is nice to see neighbors helping neighbors. And, I think this is what will help with rebuilding. Nothing is more comforting in times of disaster or despair than to have friends around who are supporting and caring for you. On Sunday, I pulled on to a property leveled by fire and was quickly met by a man wanting to know who I was and why I was on the property. He said, “We look out for each other here.” I explained to him what I was doing in the neighborhood and he quickly told me how he has taken watch because he does not want his neighbor’s property looted. I know he took me for someone out to do wrong. But, I simply took a few steps back and listened to him. After asking him how he was doing, how rebuilding was going, what would he like me to know as a reporter, his attitude became friendly. I didn’t end up interviewing that man even though I wanted a story. It meant more to let him know, I am here listening and I wanted to know what he had to say and how he was doing following the fire whether a camera was rolling or not.

What if this was all you had left?

There is no doubt Spicewood residents have a long road ahead. Still, with the support system they have in place, that road will eventually lead to new homes. I also want to add that the bonds between neighbors that are being made will stand the test of time and that is something flames can’t destroy.