GOODBYE MY SWEET CHEVY MALIBU

Image

Yesterday morning, I slammed into the back of a DHL Delivery Van and totaled my car of 10 years. I was at fault, I’m pretty shaken up about it,  and my neck and back are a little sore, but that’s not what this post is about.  It is about all the sweet, funny, not so funny, and sad moments I experienced in that Chevy Malibu.  I literally teared up today because I didn’t even get to say goodbye to her, instead my “knight in shining armor” went to the body shop today in my stead to gather up all of my personal belongings (mostly junk) that I had left behind before they do to her whatever it is they do to irreparable vehicles (which I honestly don’t want to think about).

10 years is a long time to have a car.  She wasn’t much in the end, but she was mine.  Not sure if it was the fact that I’m happy to just have something simple that gets me around, or the fact that she had been paid off since day 1, but I have a feeling it has more to do with the fact that a decade finally came to an end.  My “Malibu Era”.

The Malibu Era saw 180,000 miles of growing up, self-discovery, shitty relationships, school, gigs, and stretches of Florida from Miami to Orlando on more occasions than I can even remember.  Although she held up as long as she did, she did not run without the occasional trouble, and more recently the troubles started to become more prominent.  The blinker worked sporadically, the AC had been fixed at least 3 times, and she had strange electrical problems I liked to attribute to “gremlins”.  Still, even so, I’m a sentimental, in fact it’s probably for the best it happened this way – I always said I would drive her until she would no longer run – I would step out and say, “Thank you” and simply walk away.

So goodbye sweet Malibu.  Thank you for being so reliable (for the most part) for so long, and thank you for all the memories (good and bad)   Thank you for all the memories good and bad, from the stormy drives to Miami, the steamy make-outs, the quick changes, the multiple flat tires, the 4 times you were towed, the 98 degree summers  with no AC, the random animals we braked for and encountered (to include peacocks, chickens, and that awful dead rat I discovered in your back seat during our South Beach summer.  Thank you.

Most importantly, thank you for getting me where I needed to go.

Image

 

Tagged , , , ,

been a busy working girl gettin’ filthy in ybor, but first a quickie in atlantic city

  

The past month or so has been  extremely therapeutic. I am happier and probably healthier than I have been in a while.  As if my last post wasn’t any indication of how crazy my life was becoming…  But yes things are looking up.  I began daylighting as the multi-media designer for Promo Only.  I like it – it’s good to have a day gig, especially one that keeps me plugged into the music industry.  Since I began working for Promo Only I have no complaints and actually it’s been pretty dope – especially the quick trip to Atlantic City for DJ Expo.  I helped work the convention booth and attended the nightly parties.  Our official party was held at the House Of Blues – MC’d by Clinton Sparks with performances by Sean Paul, Breathe Carolina, Taylor Dayne, Speakers, Shannon, Kat Graham, Nire AllDai, and Julissa Veloz, to name a few.  I had the pleasure of meeting Julissa Veloz and Clinton Sparks and both of them were extremely kind as well as talented.

In other news, I’ve become a regular at Czar in Tampa every Friday night for the Filthy Richard Party.   Picture Friday/Saturday nights at BackBooth + TakeOvr on Tuesdays at Roxy then add music videos and some digital mapping and now you have a Filthy Party.  It also doesn’t hurt that the DJ I’m stalking there is pretty hot, and he doesn’t seem to mind my presence in the booth one bit.  I think secretly he calls me his ‘little party starter’ and I also think he’s in love with me whether or not he knows it yet… but that’s not for here.

If you ever grace the good city of Tampa with your presence over a weekend, I think you should make Filthy Richard part of your “Must do’s”.  Here are the top 5 things you should experience in the Tampa area in order.

FRIDAY

  • Eat a SANDWICH at The Bricks in Ybor (They are all super yum)
  • Dance your ass off in any of the 3 rooms at Czar during Friday night’s Filthy Party

SATURDAY

  • Eat at DATZ – make sure you order at least one pancake (pumpkin if available)
  • Walk around the touristy area near the bay  and share a couple of Alcoholic Slurpees at Wet Willies – no Wet Willies is not unique but you might as well do something touristy and stupid.  Besides it’s a nice view.

SUNDAY

  • “Grow some” and attend Skinny-Dip Sunday at Caliente Resort in Land-O-Lakes (it’s a clothing optional day, so you won’t be required to bare-it-all, but hey if YOLO is still a thing why not embrace it? In any case it’s good music, good food, and awesome people watching.
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This taken right before the beginning of the worst sequence of events EVER. #laughing #crying

DISCLAIMER
Despite the overall comical tone of this post, I do take this series of events very serious.  This experience has been an absolute wakeup call for me – I do value my life and people’s perception of me, however, I feel this story needs to be told – just do yourself a favor and NOT do as I did.

THE STORY
It all started out great.  I wanted to have a night out with my roommate Megan and a friend so I put on my red dress and headed over to XL Gallery/Stardust Lounge off Lake Eola – low key and simple.  It was early enough so we thought we would start off with a shot of Cafe Patrón, followed by a PBR.  We went outside to chat with some regulars and I heard music coming from the underground lounge (Stardust) I was pretty positive I knew who the DJ was – so I went downstairs to say hello.  I was correct, It was in fact DJwhat.  I hung out with him behind the DJ table, and he was kind enough to put my drinks on his tab.  I had two dirty gin martinis, but in between those two martinis, my friend John handed me a SoCo and Lime shot…. first mistake.  2nd mistake was finishing that second martini, and my third mistake was convincing my roommate that I was ok to stay behind – when she and John came to tell me they were leaving.  Apparently I’m a very convincing drunk, and must have seemed sober enough at that point.

Eight or nine hours later I woke up in a strange place (fully clothed and unharmed – if anything had been otherwise you would not be reading this) with a stranger, who I had no recollection of meeting.  I flipped my shit – asked him where the hell I was, who he was, and where was my purse.  He said we were in Kissimmee, he met me at Metro Espresso, I ate his pizza, that he was with friends after attending the white party at Tier, and that he and his friends got a cab and tried to take me to my apartment, but I zonked out in the cab and that I wasn’t giving him the right address – so we rode around in the cab aimlessly – 40 min and $50 later he gave up, had the cabby take us to his car and he took me home with him because I was out like a light.  Oh – that and I didn’t have a purse with me.  [That part of the story is pretty bad – it makes me sick to my stomach – and I really am lucky he was a normal and not a serial killer …]  I immediately demanded he take me back downtown – I needed to find my purse and most importantly get away from the situation I was currently in.  He didn’t hesitate at all and within 2 minutes we were in the car and he was taking me back. That 20 min commute felt like an eternity and of course it turned into 20 questions as I tried to piece together the evening.  While he was trying to explain the Metro Pizza encounter I felt something itchy on my rib cage, it was two popcorn kernels – I thought when did I eat popcorn, what the hell?  It seemed weird but insignificant – because I just wanted to get the hell out of his car.

Getting back to the apartment was the least of my worries – I needed that which contained my life – my purse.  As soon as I got in the apartment I used Megan’s phone to call my phone – no answer but it was ringing, which was a very good sign.  I changed clothes, grabbed sunglasses and walked to Metro Espresso.  It was just after 11:00am and they had just opened.  I asked the staff if they had my purse and even looked around the tables to see if it was on the floor.  It wasn’t.  I asked if I could use their phone and I called my cell.  A man answered, “Hello?  Is this Britt?  I’ve been trying to figure out how to get your purse to you.”  HALLELUJAH!!!!!   It was Greg, the cab driver – apparently I did have my purse, but it got left behind in the cab.  I asked him how soon he could get it to me – and he said probably by 12:30 because he was doing pickups on Disney property.  I said fine, no problem, that I would be waiting at Metro Espresso and that I would pay him the fare cost from Disney to downtown.  So I sat patiently inside, ate some lunch, and made conversation with the friendly staff and Carson my server. Of course I told Carson about my shenanigans and how lucky I was that I was alive and my purse and it’s contents were on the way – I also told him I should blog about it. He asked the title of my blog and I told him “Daley Downtown – cause my last name is Daley”  and he said, “Wait – your Britt Daley the singer?  I saw you perform at Firestone Live’s Indie Fall.  You kept losing power or something.  My friends and I always talk about that.”  LOLZ yep that’s me, my live shows are always full of fun technical difficulty surprises.

It was weird feeling stuck in that little cafe for so long – but I didn’t want to walk back to the apartment so I people watched mostly and the variety of people who came in and walked by were pretty interesting to say the least.  I watched two older men with live parrots on their shoulders as they ate outside, the reactions they evoked from people passing by were pretty funny.  We are such easily amused creatures.  I nearly missed it, but thanks to Carson I witnessed a man walk by with a baby alligator/crocodile in his arms – wtf?  I also caught my friend Dustin walking by and ran out to give him a massive HUG – it was good to see a familiar face.  I told him the abridged version of what happened to me and followed it with, “I think I should seriously give up drinking.”  His response was, “Shhhh – stop talking crazy talk.”  :\

It was now 1:00pm and there was no sign of Greg ‘The Cabby’ – I called him again, and this time he had the nerve to haggle me for more money in order for him to get out to me faster.  I was getting pissed – I was like “Fine, $65 – but not a penny more – and get here NOW”!  At 2:15 my highly anticipated Taxi finally arrived.  I got my purse – hit the Publix ATM  – while he drove around the block with my phone (I thought he seemed a little dumb – but not dumb enough to give me all of my belongings)  and I ran to the curb with cash in hand.  I paid him, thanked him, and headed back to Metro – to pay for my lunch.

I began the walk back to the apartment and bumped into my friend the Artist/Writer Thomas Thorspecken.  I hadn’t seen Thor in about 6 months.  I told him the story and he encouraged me to blog it – and said he envied my “bender” experience and was glad I lived to tell it.  As I approached Washington my phone rang.  It was Megan and she had some information.

At or around 3:00am she received a call from James, the security guard at Stardust.  He was asking her how she knew me because apparently I was a drunken nut job.  She told him I was her roommate and he was like, “Oh she’s cool.”  Not sure if he was trying to be nice at that point because the story she was about to tell me – makes me the exact opposite of “cool”.  Apparently they have popcorn at Stardust where I was hanging out after hours since I was a friend of the DJ, and I got a little over zealous about eating the popcorn… ok A LOT over zealous.  This is where the story becomes unclear (remember I was blacked out – so I have no memories of anything that happened between the hours of 2:00am and 9:00am) but according to James, I was told to stop taking popcorn and I wasn’t about to stop.

Oh it gets worse.  I was so ‘enchanted’ with the popcorn that I grabbed a handful of it and stuffed it down the front of my dress, dodged the owner and the security guard, ran through the back, jumping over all kinds of objects on the way, and hid in the storage closet with the lights off.   James found me in the storage closet in the fetal position eating the popcorn I had shoved down my dress while laughing hysterically.

OMG.  FML.  Really?  Really?!??!  I did that? $*%! &***%$@*^^$!!!!!  As Megan told me this I couldn’t help but laugh – to the point of tears.  I got to the apartment and she told me some of her own embarrassing stories that involved being at Stardust after hours, including the time one of the bartenders said, “Megan Hinkle GO HOME”  over the intercom.  I thought maybe DJwhat could fill in some of the missing pieces for me so I pulled up is Facebook profile and to my horror was the following:  “The popcorn bandit strikes again…. lol she ran from Lambert”.   On another note, I am officially retiring that red dress.

the little red dress and the popcorn bandit.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

sexy miami v. cheesey orlando – good times.

This past week I was in Miami – Miami Beach – South Beach to be most specific.  If you’ve been a reader for the past two years you would know that I have a very special place in my heart for that city.  On this particular trip I managed to get in quite a bit of the typical touristy tripe.  Eating on Lincoln Road:  Sushi Samba (although I still like Doraku better), Serendipity 3 (wondering where 2 is…but the food was unreal and the cake martini, although tasty, should have been chocolate) and Polar Burger Bar (where I ended up eating a salad).  I was poolside at the Flaming North Tower Pool and the famous Clevelander Hotel, had alcoholic slurpees at Wet Willie’s and hit Saturday night at Bamboo – it was packed which .  


I also had a spontaneous photo shoot with my friend Aris – Photographer – http://www.fashify.com/ and I attended the Samsung Galaxy S III launch party at the Ice Palace – I met some very cool people, and free booze and food was provided.


On the last day, I had an afternoon to kill on my own so I decided to go to a movie by myself.  Not something I normally do, or anything I’ve ever done now that I think of it… but I figured it was raining and it might be nice to get lost in a film.  After staring at the showtimes for a good 10 minutes I finally decided on Disney/Pixar’s BRAVE (an awesomely animated flick)  I purchased my 2:45pm matinée ticket + 3D shades and proceeded upstairs to get a $2 small popcorn and a MASSIVE ‘small’ Coke zero before grabbing a seat.  As I looked around for the theater number – I noticed a guy wandering around with a confused look on his face, I didn’t think much of it and went to theater 8, as designated on my ticket stub – but when I got to theater 8, it said “ICE AGE” was playing.  I looked at my ticket again, and realized my ticket also read “ICE AGE”  – wtf?

OKAY … I went down to customer service and as I approached I noticed the same guy getting his ticket swapped out.  I informed the Customer Service lady I wanted to see Brave, and she said, “no problem.”  I then asked her if the same thing happened to that guy.  YES.  it had.  weird.  As I walked into the correct theater the “guy”  who we can refer to as Dave caught me at the door and said,  “I’m sorry, I have to ask – did you have the wrong ticket too?”  I told him yes and the lady told me his had been incorrect.  As we entered the theater during the previews – he asked politely if I would like to join him in watching the film – since it was coincidental that our tickets were wrong etc… and because we were both alone.  I figured why not.  So I watched BRAVE, a movie about fate and destiny next to a complete stranger named Dave, who shared some laughs and some of his sour patch kids with me – who I probably would have never known existed.  Turns out Dave works at Sushi Samba – so if you’re in South Beach – go say “hi” to him for me and tell him I told you to do so.  :)

I got back to Orlando just in time to attend the Orlando Weekly Annual “Best Of”  bash at The Beacham.  I was voted 2nd Best Pop Act in Orlando by Readers (THANK YOU ORLANDO!!!! – I am So HONORED, and surprised!) I walked up to the event and passed Tommy Mot on the way in – He informed me that is was packed inside, and that it was.  I had a great time hanging out with Kevin Collier and Brandon Zeiders of Smile For Camera.  And I ran into some familiar faces I hadn’t seen in a while including Chris Cooper and Mr. Robert Johnson.  The night was finished up at IBar for Mac & Cheese Wednesdays where I danced like an idiot to Miami Sound Machine’s Conga.  Good times.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

the last 6 months in bullet points… and yes blondes definitely have more FUN.

 
so.  I really dropped the ball on this blog.  Which makes me feel pretty crap.  And in order to feel better about myself, I’m going to do something I should’ve done months ago.  Yep – I’m reinstating Daley Downtown.  I know you all were on the edge of your seat awaiting for this post.  Le sigh.  In all honesty I’m excited about blogging again.  I even updated my ‘theme’ and header (long over due).  In any case as much as I’d love to get you up to speed on my life in detail, I’m just going to give you a few highlights and you can fill in the rest with your overactive imaginations – you know who you are.  :\

Since my last post in December 2011 I…

  • became a blonde which automatically makes me more fun.
  • fell in and out of “Love / Like” several times.  story of my life.
  • attended WMC 2012 in Miami met a ton of amazing people including Dev, Rita Ora, Datsik and various other major players in the Industry.
  • got kissed on the cheek by Mickey Avalon (still not sure how I feel about it)
  • opened for YACT at Plaza Live, and got walked in on while putting on nylons backstage, by a member of Onuinu (who will remain unidentified, but there are only 2 of them so you have 50% chance of guessing right)  (nuff said).
  • collaborated with several EDM producers as a Featured Artist on a couple of tracks
    that were released in JUNE on Beatport and SoundCloud

  • wrote several songs that are still in the works and have yet to be released.
  • wrote a song titled, “Hi (A Song For You)”  a couple days ago… you can watch my live home recording on youtube.
  • overhauled my website:  http://brittdaley.com
  • and started moonlighting SOLO as a DJ combining LIVE Vocals with DJ set – Playing my first official set at Ignition at Firestone Live 6/28/12 (Mainstage Baby)

bing. bam. boom.  I’m done – no wait I’m not done yet….  wha ha ha. ;)

Lot’s of things in the works, up in the air…

   

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

hitting 2012 with some extra special goodies

The 2nd half of 2011 was pretty incredible.  I  had the privilege of opening for Surfer Blood, VHS Or Beta, Kevin Barnes from Of Montreal, Awesome New Republic, Grand Buffet and shared the stage with dozens of other noteworthy local acts including Circus, Telethon, Andy Matchett and The Minks, Stockholm, Yogurt Smoothness, and more recently The Tenant and Ancient Sun (All worth checking out).

In November, I hopped on a cheap Southwest flight to L.A. for another Taxi Road Rally (Songwriting Convention) where I met more amazing artists and industry people – and caught up with the friends I made last year.    That conference is seriously worth every penny of my membership –  and once again it came up at a time when I needed a short break from “The City Beautiful”.

This past Monday night I released  my FIRST OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO for my single, “One And Only” –  just after releasing my 7 song Self-Titled EP on November 25 – Black Friday.  I am really proud of both.  But of course without trying to sound cliché, I absolutely could not have done it on my own.  The EP took months to write and re-write as well as multiple studio sessions to get it just right (Huge thank you to Greg Shields and Mike Stebe at Sound Lounge Studios).

The music video, to quote the Director, truly was ” a labor of love”.  The 13 hour shoot involved over 30 people.  The cast was full of local talents: Andy Matchett, Katie Peters (Circus), John Didonna, Jennifer Bonner, Jessica Mariko (DRIP), Kyle Raker, Nick Corcoran, Darci Ricciardi, and Will “Mainswitch” Campbell.

We had an incredible camera team including a volunteer crew of 8 from Full Sail University.  Most everyone involved in the project donated their time and really believed in it – which nearly brought me to tears at the end of the shoot, that and I was exhausted.  Of course we went over budget but the end result was worth it, and luckily The Orlando Repertory Theatre was more than gracious to allow us to practically take over the entire building that Sunday at no additional charge.

I am so thankful to all of my actors who brought so much life to this video and to my crew for working their asses off to keep things moving forward.  And I’m especially thankful to Director/Editor Scott Wilkins, and Richard Dine – Director of Photography, for making this video look beautiful.

If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out here.  I promise it will make you smile.
This last month of the year – I have no plans to slow down – I open for Le BLORR on December 22 in Vero Beach and I end 2011 at the Downtown Melbourne New Year’s Eve Street Party!

This past year was pretty damn good, so naturally 2012 is going to be UNREAL.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

a story about an amazing woman.

My grandmother is one of the strongest women I’ve ever known, and I’m not just saying that because she’s mine.  I honestly believe she’s probably one of the toughest, most stubborn woman I’ve ever met.  Today, I kissed her forehead for probably the last time.  At 102 years old she has lived an incredibly long and full life.

With every shallow, slow breath she took this morning I thought about the number of moments she has taken in; the amazing events she lived through; the number of people she’s affected.   I remember the stories she told me when I was a little girl, and how vivid they were.   She had an incredible life story and I told myself I would one day write about it.   What better way to honor her life than to retell some of her most fascinating moments.

Here is her life abridged…

She was born, Visitacion “Visi” Rodriguez on July 6, 1909 in the small town of Coamo, PR to a Spanish father and a mother of French, Italian, and Taíno decent.  They were a poor family and her father whom we know very little about, died just three years later in a horse carriage accident.  By the time she was  9 years old her mother left her with family friends after becoming ill with consumption.   She recalled crying desperately for her mother  every night, asking her caretakers when her mother would return from the hospital for her, to which they replied, “Your mother will come for you when the green horse arrives.”  One day while she was playing by a nearby stream two young girls approached her and told her they could take her to her mother.  The three of them walked 10 miles to Ponce, and she was lead straight to her dying mother’s bedside.  My grandmother never saw those girls again and she swears they were angels.

Her mother died shortly after, and Visi was taken in by her aunt who was already looking after her sister and three cousins.  As the oldest of the cousins, she helped to support the family by quitting school after the eighth grade to work as a housekeeper for a rich local woman.  She worked for very little pay but it was enough to buy shoes for the rest of the girls to continue attending school.

At 16 she was approached outside of the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, by a black vehicle she has described as something out of the old television series, The Untouchables.  Inside the car was Lieutenant Commander Virgil Baker; he was seeking a housekeeper/nanny to help him look after his estate and raise his children as his wife was mentally ill. My grandmother accepted the position and for a period 19 years she was their “Maria”.

What was most curious about that period of her life was that the Baker’s home in which she lived was located on an old spanish fort.  U.S. Lt. Baker, who was in charge of all naval activities on the island, acquired El Fortín San Jerónimo (San Jeronimo Fort located in San Juan) and its surrounding land in 1921 as an assignment or ‘free lease’ from the U.S. Government (a “gift” as described by my grandmother), and on top of the historic fort was where he built his home.

During her appointment, Lt. Baker asked her to marry him several times but she viewed him more like a father and felt it was time for her to move on with her life, so he found her a secretarial position at the U.S. Naval Base where she learned shorthand, typing, and improved her English skills.

The year was 1945 and WWII had recently come to an end when a handsome captain walked into her office.  He was unable to take his eyes off of her and begged her supervisor to have her accompany him to dinner that evening.

His name was Capt. George Thomas Dungan, a Merchant Marine during the War, who had been at sea nearly his entire life, keeping with  family tradition.  In fact, during the 1920s he was the youngest captain on the entire eastern seaboard.

My grandmother was not initially taken by him, as her heart had recently been broken by an American Soldier who had informed her earlier that week that he had to return to his wife, but  George was a persistent man, and convinced Visi to see him every night that week.   On their last evening out, she told him she was moving in several days to New York City for a change of scenery.  He offered to take her to NY but informed her that his ship would need to port in New Orleans first.  She declined his offer as she had already booked her passage.

She left her sister in her position at the Naval Base, just in case she hated New York and needed to return, and got on a boat packed with other passengers also looking to start new lives.  The journey was awful, and it was no luxury liner with plenty of sea sickness going around.  When she arrived in New York City, things did not improve.  It was the dead middle of winter and she began to question her decision.

She moved in with her aunt and cousin who had moved to the city a few months earlier and took a job as a seamstress.  Six months later there was a knock on their apartment door.  Her Aunt opened the door to a tall, dark, and handsome Captain George T. Dungan.  He had contacted her sister at the Naval Base to get her address.  My grandmother says he swept her off her feet, taking her to all the best restaurants and night clubs, making her feel like a princess.

That same week he proposed to her and asked her to wait for him for 6 months until he returned from his next trip at sea.   She did, and they got married on a gold mining tour in Mexico.  After they moved to New Orleans to start a family, but due to my grandmother’s age of 35,  they had difficulty getting pregnant.  After several years of trying, and a miscarriage of twins, my grandfather left the shipping industry and they relocated to Birmingham, Alabama where at age 43 my grandmother finally  gave birth to their first and only child, Gazelle.    And the rest is history…

My mom, Gazelle, has been an amazing daughter – taking care of her mother over the past 5 years.  Two very amazing women.

Grandma Visi, I will never forget you.

Visitacion “Visi” Dungan
July 6, 1909 – August 9, 2011

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.