What Is SassTown?

Real estate rebel, residential designer, believer, blogger currently residing in the Detroit metro area.

As the Mayor here, I have achieved an uncanny reputation for being right more than 92% of the time while raising 5 daughters, 1 son, a BA dog and a husband who adds to the daily drama.

I am also fondly known as Your Honor, crazy bitch, psycho mom, wily temptress & that damn Yankee.



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Random  Sass


I'm not sure which one of them won the bet, but I can guarantee you that here was some kind of wager going on. Despite my protest that I was not going to invest my time, money and talent in painting anything in the home we've leased for 2 years in Austin, they know me too well.

I vowed that I was not going to get overly invested in this home. I certainly haven't made my mind up if I even like Austin, I just know that this is the first week I haven't been a sweaty mess.

102 days. That's how long I made it without unpacking my trusted companions. My brush fits in my hand just so and I love my little  9 inch roller. It's small but mighty and I can paint for miles without splattering everywhere.

My methods are a bit unorthodox. I don't mess with a lot of tape, drop cloths, paper. I paint my edges freehand and move along one wall at a time. I realize most people don't proceed in this matter.

Take my husband. Please. He's driving me totally batty, we don't approach projects from the same prospective. There's a very good reason I normally wait for a business trip to dive into  any particular renovation. So, I lay down a little painters tape to make him happy...but the puppy kept pulling it off of the wall and running away with it so I went back to my old ways.

 I love looking back at the finished product, it makes me feel worthy. Sure, it's still a neutral color (Sherwin Williams Netske) but it gives the wall some depth, a bit of richness and it's enough of a hue to demonstrate a contrast with the woodwork, crown molding and fireplace stone. (Please excuse the poor pictures, my camera is not cooperating).

To top it off, the paint finish has a sheen. I'll be able to wash it up when necessary plus I'll have left over paint to keep for touch ups.



I'll admit I had some serious reservations about allowing my daughters to attend a live musical festival downtown in Austin with one of their friends and her mother. Mostly it was that it was costly and secondly I was  concerned about what kind of a scene it would be.

As teens tend to do, they cajoled and bargained and wore me down.There was supposed to be 4 stages with music, comedians and performance art. They were so determined to go see the band MGMT which is on our dance playlist and something we regularly play and traipse around the house to.

I've chosen a selection from You Tube in case you're not familiar. The clip I selected is blank with lyrics because I wanted to you to hear the band the way I've thought of them, as I had never seen a video of them before. I couldn't find a suitable video with high enough quality to post on here, plus the ones I did find show a band that is pretty "out there".

Agreeing to go, armed with my sketch book and other boredom busters, I figured I could keep myself occupied and listen to some music I might not ordinarily play on my car radio while keeping an eye on these girls.


"Fun Fest" crowd

 We met up with one of their school chums and her mother , who I assure you is a perfectly nice and lovely individual. Reservations about our plans quickly set in after about 20 minutes. The only music we could hear while in line was loud, head banging, hair pulling, screaming sort of ying yang. Doubts set in, can I really endure 4 hours of this kind of stuff while waiting to hear MGMT?

The crowd was rough looking. I try not to judge a book by it's cover but the aroma I smelled was not of the good sort. I would not say I was frightened, I'm from Detroit people. I've seen nothing since our move to Austin that has scared me.

What really sealed the deal on our change of plans and eventual exit was the school chum. She was treating her mother horribly while we were in line. It made for a very uncomfortable situation for all of us. I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket and checked my incoming text message.

It was from my 15 year old daughter who was standing next to me in line. Can we go? I looked at her, mouthed the word really? She shook her head affirmatively. OK, now we are in an awkward situation waiting in line with her friend for this concert but after a 2 minutes of thought I took the fall.

"You know, I just don't think I can stand this for 4 hours. I feel awful, but I think we are going to switch gears and go eat a nice meal and shop around on South Congress. You are welcome to join us". Her mom encouraged us to do what we needed to do. She told me she was hoping her daughter would change her mind and they would catch up with us.

So just like that, we left, thanking God that we did not spend a boat load of money to get into a music festival where we may have been miserable for hours. My 13 year old was confused and aggravated, as she had never been to any kind of concert.

Luckily she was persuaded by her sister, who had the good sense to know when to cut her losses that we would have fun lolly gagging and see a concert at another time.



First things first, we unanimously decided to seek out food and a clean bathroom so we could lollygag in a sated state of mind. We landed at Hopdoddy Burger Bar, a relatively new establishment on South Congress.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar

Fresh ground burgers. Everything local. Homemade buns, ice cream and fresh squeezed juices sounded like a winner and it was. Right away we know we needed to try the Mexican Vanilla or Dutch Chocolate milk shakes along with our burgers.

Hopdoddy on Urbanspoon

The fries were seasoned with sea salt and some fresh herbs. However, when your menu says "chili cheese fries", to someone from Michigan that doesn't mean fries served with a side of Queso. We got a big kick out of our servers T shirt which said: We spank our patties and they like it.

It was fun, clean, contemporary, fresh and the locals in the booth next to us were very excited about the selection of local beer and guiness on draft. It definitely was the rest and refill we needed before proceeding to the vintage shops along South Congress including our favorite, Uncommon Objects which had the weirdest assortment of items, as promised on the sign.

Where else can you find 1970's lamps, macramé, framed dermatology illustrations from the early 1900's, crocodile hides, old teeth and boxed science projects? Some of our favorites:

family of dressed up skunks

old painted wooden cards

We finished off the night with a little bit of sight seeing (ie: getting lost in the city) and after having made a pretty fun night out of an uncomfortable situation the baby decided to return to her disgruntled state of mind over not having seen a concert.

Oh well, I guess that's her choice as a teenager. I, however know for a fact that fun was had by all...just not AT the "Fun Fest".


To experience other folks random briliiance visit The UnMom.

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Reader Comments (9)

i am incredibly impressed w/ your 15 yr old's mature decision to cut her losses on that fun fest. wow. kudos to her. plus, it sounds (and looks) like you had a fabulous time anyway. the burger joint sounds yummy! although yeah, not so much the chilli cheese fries. lol. and the uncommon shop sounds right up my alley. your paint job did warm the place up. i'm contemplating painting my kitchen and just can't pick a damn color already.

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercreative kerfuffle

I have a very hard time keeping my mouth shut about behavior like that. Leaving was a great option, rather than being around the rude child all night. Talk about a headache-inducer!

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterunmitigated me (m.a.w.)

lovely paint job mommy designer dearest!

why do so many spoiled teeny boppers think it is cool to belittle their parents in front of friends? obnoxious and ungrateful. not cool.

i am so excited to sleep in my own bed tnite! which i will do immediately after a beef stroganoff organza extravaganza! thanks kitty cat!! xo

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterprincess numero uno

Ooooh, you got some big ol' spam!

So glad you had a good time. I'm defintiely going to check out the burger joint. Right now, our favorite is Mighty Fine.

I am a painter of walls, too. It has taken me 4 years to paint every wall in this house. Now that I have it just perfect, we have to move. *sigh* Oh well, at least I get a new canvas out of it.

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDawn in Austin

I was enjoying your watercolor paintings, but you certainly have a sharp eye for wall colors!

I wish the baby could understand that quantity of concerts attended in one's life are a not measurement of a happy life! I personally think concerts are overrated. Not to mention that they gouge you for the cost of the concert ticket as well as an overpriced souvenir.

Speaking of overrated.... Austin may be overrated and the beautiful days of fall in Michigan have been underrated.

Miss you all!

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Favorite Auntie

Wow. You know, I was just wondering, "Where can I find stuffed skunks dressed in matching hideous orange sweatshirts?" And you answered my question!

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Mother

Cecillia :) Thanks for the painting tips. I'd always concidered myself a good painter only because of my willingness to do the job and my need for perfection. I'd spent way to much time and energy taping and un taping, not to mention the cost of the tape. I'm painting my foyer and not using tape, just a short handled brush and a as steady a hand as I can. It's working great. On the other hand, I'm to sloppy not to use a drop cloth. Now what tip do you have for painting a ceiling 22 feet up on a stairway :/

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterM. Baker

sorry about the extra L

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterM. Baker

Great job on the living room. I knew it was only a matter of time :)
Kudos to #5. Maybe I will look into taking #6 to a show in January.

November 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter#3

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