Category Archives: Ross husband

REVIEW: Josey’s Grill and Bar

A few weeks ago, Lakeway Resort & Spa invited me to come try their restaurant, Josey’s Grill & Bar.  I said, “ok,” and wrote an email back that was full of ampersands.  I promise it was terribly clever.
So, imagine my disappointment when I realized I already had plans that night!  I had an aerial dance class scheduled (yep, still taking it), so I asked Ross (husband) if he’d like to go instead and review.

He said, “ok,” and rounded up a buddy to go along with him.  I texted him at one point during the night and he wrote back: “Can’t talk; demolishing this plate with my face.”  Actually, I think he wrote “can’t talk, savoring,” but in my mind’s eye it was definitely the former.

The meal was eight courses, and below, Ross gives you a “taste” of his evening at Josey’s.  Enjoy!

from ross:

Everybody, at some point in their life, would benefit from the experience of being the most important man in the room.  Well, at Josey’s Grill and Bar (yes that’s right, Grill FIRST, then bar) anybody can have such an experience – especially me and my one special wing man.
Now, I don’t always date men, but when I do, I prefer Jason Silverberg.  With the wife out dangling on silk ribbons at her aerial dance class, I knew that if anybody was to get the scoop on this restaurant properly, it would have to be these two dudes.
When we walked into Josey’s, we were both struck by the modern lodgy feel to it.  Dimly lit, with robust stone columns, a fireplace, and plenty of dark wooden undertones, it was just the sort of place where a man could kick back and drink a… wait, what’s this?… a pink martini with a lemon in it?  Don’t mind if I do.

The Redbud Martini – Absolut Citron, fresh raspberries and a splash of cran started things off with citrusy gusto.  I thought momentarily about going to the bar for a beer instead, but then I reminded myself that if bears like raspberries, then it would be ok for me to drink them in a cocktail and still be cool. 
Among the many courses that came throughout the evening, one my favorites was our appetizer, the Braised Short Rib Nachos.  As the southern/southwestern theme of the meal began to come into focus, the nachos got us off to a good start.

Prepared with house made potato chips, Tillamook cheddar, jalapenos, and avocado crema.

Next the Dr. Pepper fried Texas Quail came out, and I made quick work of it. Definitely a southern-man’s-backwoods-cabin-gourmet kind of a dish, it had a nice subtle glaze to it which paired nicely with the gamey adventurousness of the quail. 

Prepared with ancho/honey butter and blue cheese potato salad.

It seemed like something that the Marlboro Man would have eaten – right before he lit up a smoke, and then got laid, and then lit up another smoke – because that’s just what you do when you’re the Malboro Man.

For dessert: Double chocolate bread pudding. 

This I murdered.  

It came out piping hot, soft and mushy (the good kind of mushy) with little cascades of chocolatude oozing out of it like dark rivers of temptation.  I pondered briefly whether I could fit the whole thing in my mouth at once.  I feel confident that I could have actually.  But I didn’t.  I ate it one reasonable bite after another.

As the moon rose gradually over Lake Travis signaling the procession of a starry hill country night, Jason and I departed Josey’s Grill and Bar happy and satisfied. Chef Jeff Axline really did put on quite a show, and delivered far more poetry on his plates than my snarky amateur food writing can convey.  Well done sir.  Well done indeed.
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Happy Valentine’s Day, Husband.

I am a sentimental fool, and everyone knows it.

When I was a kid, I very carefully decorated my Valentine’s Day bag with glitter and markers, hoping-against-hope that my 4th grade crush would see fit to drop a carnation inside of it.  That was before I knew that you can’t (always) get a boy’s attention with glitter, and that you shouldn’t (ever) hope for carnations, that most pedestrian of plants, that weed-posing-as-a-proper-flower.

I say, screw that.

I’ll take Valentine’s Day with its glitter, its carnations, all of its glorious tackiness!  It gives me an excuse to haul out our wedding photos, you see.

Ross and I got married up the street from our house, at the school where we met seven years ago, teaching.  The sweet woman who married us was a mother from the school.

I wore the very first dress I tried on, and was really proud of Ross for picking out his and all of the groomsmen tuxedos.  I learned why fake eyelashes are a dumb idea at your wedding, because you’ll probably cry, and they’ll probably fall off at some point (which mine did, in the car on the way to the reception).  But I didn’t care!

Ross and I took tango lessons before the wedding, at a dance studio in a strip mall in north central Austin.  We wanted to WOW everyone with our first dance, but instead of a tango, we decided on “As Long As We’ve Got Each Other” instead.  I honestly don’t remember dipping, despite photographic evidence … but as you can see, the maneuver was a big hit with my mom.
Now, more self-conscious husbands might read their wife’s blog blubbering on Valentine’s Day and think, dear God I am taking her laptop away.

But Ross kindly puts up with it every time I gush to the whole wide Internet about how kickass I think he is.

Thank you for letting me do that, Husband!   Because it’s true.  You are my best friend, you’re my adventure partner, you’re my favorite listener and advice-giver.  You cook me things and you say “yay Wife!” when I successfully cook something.  You sang me Elvis on our wedding day, and I just about melted into a swoony mess.   You don’t roll your eyes when I cry (which is all the time), you laugh at me when I’m laughing because sometimes I get so tickled I can’t talk for a few seconds.

I am your #1 biggest fan, Husband.  I love you so much!
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A wedding and a skinny dip.

Ross and I went to a wedding this weekend in Maryland, land of crabs and red brick buildings. He has a whole store of old college friends scattered out through the United States, and this is one of the reasons I know I was supposed to marry him: while I excel at pleasant and charming, Ross excels at friendships.

Ross has enough very close college friends to fill the whole top floor of a hotel, which we did this weekend.

“I don’t think I’m going to get too crazy this trip,” he said.

As I watched him climb back onto the pier, naked, following two more of his naked college pals, I remembered his earlier, more solemn assurances. I smiled knowingly at a giddy bystander next to me, as if to say, boys will be boys.

“Should we jump in?” she asked.

I made a face that said, that’s a terrible idea, while my mouth said: “you want to?”

We looked at the water, we looked at the moon, we looked at my husband, comfortable in his nakedness, casually chatting with someone while slipping on his just-stripped underwear.

“I’ll do it if you will.”

I thought about the time Jason threw a surprise birthday for my best friend Kim a few years ago, on Lake Travis, with a party barge. When it got dark, the “captain” paused the boat.

Everyone got naked and jumped in the water.

The exhibitionists needed no prompting. But some had to be begged and chanted to from below. Eventually, Jason and I were the last ones, clinging to the top deck, still dry, still clothed.

“I’m not wearing a bra underneath this dress,” I explained lamely.

An enormous wet bra was passed up to me.

“Is it cold?”

A drunk shout said it felt like a bath.

I looked down at my new yellow shoes, bought specifically for this occasion. I found a dry seat to protect them, along with my dress. “Let’s jump,” I said to Jason.

He pretended not to hear me.

“I’ll do it if you will.”

Jason looked out over the water from the railing, and saw exactly what I saw: Our friends, no one’s nakedness particularly distinct from the rest. Only shiny wet skin, like a baby pool full of toddlers.

I one-armed swam over to Ross, using my other arm to hold the huge bra in place. He tread water easily, talking to two or three partially or not-at-all-clothed party guests.

“Hello,” he said in a big, welcoming way, as if he himself was host of the naked pool party.

“Hello,” I said right back, hoping to imitate his at-homeness, though with my jerky movements that was most certainly a lost cause. I tread water like a maimed duckling, with only one good wing.

“Are you having fun?” he asked with a smile, at once teasing and conspiratorial. I nodded vigorously in response, immediately dissolving all the cool I was trying to feign. This tent of a bra was tough to hold together.

“Whose is that?” someone asked.

“I have no idea,” I said.

“Nice of them to give it to you!” another piped up.

“It was,” I agreed. We all nodded in appreciation of the Good Bra Samaritan.

It was then I realized I had to pee.

The way I saw it, I could either pee on someone’s leg underwater next to me, or use my sidestroke/dog paddle hybrid to get me back to the boat and its bathroom.   The first involved the unavoidable water temperature change, alerting the victim to what I had just done to their leg; the latter meant hoisting myself up onto the boat using my one arm, the other faithfully protecting my womanhood, and in order to make the hoist successful, I would most likely have to drop the kind stranger’s bra and use my now-freed arm to complete the lift. Talk about a dilemma.

The amount of time I spent mentally weighing my options revealed something else to me.

I had seriously half-assed my way into this skinny dip.

Which went against the whole enterprise of skinny dipping.

I looked over at Ross, instantly envying his calm, sure decision-making. When we first started dating, it had taken him just a few weeks to say I love you; tonight, it took him two seconds to join our bare, happy friends in the water. I wanted to be exactly like him right then, meaning, relaxed. Not constantly fretting inside my head, not enacting humiliating little one-act plays that never came to pass, not not living in the moment.

The next time I skinny dipped, I was going full monty.

* * *

“I’ll do it if you will,” she said again next to me, standing on the pier, the wedding reception twinkling in the dark from far away.

I sucked in, felt my heart beat a little quicker. “Well …”

Ross strode by in his birthday suit.

Suddenly he announced that the water was alive. I met my friend’s wide eyes with mine, and we both laughed nervously, at the crustaceans waiting to crawl over our feet, the crabs waiting to pinch us.

“Nevermind,” she said with a warm giggle.

I walked away from my second skinny dipping opportunity. We both went inside. I sipped a glass of wine, spilled some on my dress, and laughed because I didn’t care.

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Ross, I’m so happy to have you back.

I started posting about stuff going on this weekend in Austin … and there is a lot of it.

But honestly? 

Ross got home three weeks ago from being in the jungle for two months. And I am MOST excited about that.

i missed you so much husband! i’m thrilled that you are home. thank you fixing the broken side rear view mirror on the car.
(PS. Anyone notice how we’re being photo bombed by a seal? With a ball on its nose?)
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What do men want? (For their birthday?)

Alright, so I’m as sentimental a fool as the rest of you.

Whenever it gets close to Ross’s birthday – about a month away – I start looking at our old wedding photos.

The day after his birthday, you see, three years ago, he flew across the country to California to come get me from grad school, and help move me and my stuff home to Austin – for good. We were engaged back then, and had been for two years.

But rather than fly, we drove home to Texas in my car. Which literally broke down once every hour. He performed most of the driving, while I chirped hollow, annoying encouragements along the way. 

“Oh, look! A saguaro cactus!” 

“Wow, this road is smooth.” 

“Who’s excited for CRACKER BARREL?”

(And if this tells you anything about the trip, Cracker Barrel really was the highlight of the whole thing).

When we finally pulled into our Austin driveway, sloughing off sticky Red Bull cans, beef jerky wrappers, and relational tension when my good mood finally ran out, I said meekly: “Happy birthday…do you, um, still want to marry me?”

And he said: “Bringing my future wife home is the best birthday present I could ever ask for.”

!

(Pause. I feel compelled to apologize here, because this same story would make me throw up in my mouth a little if I heard someone else tell it. So, sorry everyone).

Anyway. This is why I think long and hard about Ross’s birthday presents. I’ve knitted.  I’ve done power tools. I’ve thrown a surprise party.  I have two ideas for this year, one more experiential in nature, and one that is more gadget-y.

But neither one is perfect?  He is a contented man. And shopping for men that claim to be already fulfilled is a near-impossible task. Even though Austin provides no shortage of novel adventures to try, and handmade bits of magic to gift.

so what do men want for their birthday?

(PS: This has nothing to do with anything, but while we’re going back in time may I show you my favorite wedding pics? These were shot by the lovely Cory Ryan and manipulated by moi).

Allow me to direct your attention to the three best faces in this photo:

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