Let ‘em eat cake

My award-losing cake, complete with monetary bribes for the judges

My award-losing cake, complete with monetary bribes for the judges

For the second year in a row, I participated in the Kroger Cake-Off, where local journalists (including me, the only guy) compete in a 30-minute cake decorating competition to have a check in the amount of $1,000 donated in our names to the North Texas Food Bank and the Tarrant Area Food Bank, which serve 13 counties each across the Metroplex and beyond.

And for the second year in a row, I lost — despite my awesome design, above.

It’s not a big deal, actually — even Nerissa Knight, the Eye Opener morning show host whose decorated yellow cake won the prize, was gracious, telling me my design “was the most fun.” And the point, really, is to raise awareness of the need for donations to the area food banks (one in six North Texas residents goes with any meal every night, often children, the elderly and the disabled) and Kroger’s efforts in combatting that through Bringing Hope to the Table, a promotion through May 14 where customers can buy specially-marked items to benefit NTFB and TAFB.

Nerissa's winning designNerissa Knight and the donation check

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Kroger adds security to parking lot to prevent late night noise, partying

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The Kroger on Cedar Springs Road has added more security to its parking lot on weekends to try to curb noise and illegal activity after the bars close.

Kroger spokesman Gary Huddleston said two weeks ago that the store wanted to work with Dallas police and ilume management to create a permanent solution to ilume’s concerns about late night partying continuing in the unmonitored pay lot.

He said he’s now met with all the stakeholders and more security has been added to maintain control of the parking lot.

Joshuah Welch, director of operations at ilume, said the store is working to maintain security until 4 a.m. when the last of the bars close, which has been helping.

“This is helping clear out the loitering and parking lot parties that were occurring after hours,” he said.

Welch previously told Dallas Voice that the parking lot has become a nuisance with noise and partying after the parking lot attendant took money and left it unsupervised. Ilume has offered to operate the parking lot for Kroger in the past, which Huddleston said was one of the ideas to solve the issues that have increased over the past few months.

Welch said the increased security will continue on a trial run for a month before management meets with Kroger again about the issue, but he is “hopeful that this is a permanent solution to the noise and chaos that was occurring in the parking lot after hours.”

—  Dallasvoice

Kroger plans to find solution to parking lot noise, crime within 2 weeks

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On Friday, we told you about the complaints from ilume management about noise and illegal activity going on in the Cedar Springs Road Kroger parking lot on weekends.

Management said they’ve tried to work with Kroger representatives over the past year to resolve the issues, but nothing has fixed the problems.

Kroger spokesman Gary Huddleston said the store is aware of the complaints over the last year and has worked to resolve the issues, including increased security patrols of the parking lot. He said the noise has escalated over the last month.

“Obviously it hasn’t been successful,” he said. “So we’re looking at other options to control the noise and other crimes.”

Over the next two weeks, Kroger will work with Dallas police, ilume and business owners to come up with a permanent solution to end the rowdy late night activity. A few options would be to hire a valet to stay all night to monitor the lot, as well as have ilume take over the valet.

“We’re trying our best,” Huddleston said.

—  Dallasvoice

Piece of cake: Another close call for charity

Where I started, below, and where I ended up, above.

I’m sick of coming in second, especially for charity.

As we blogged about three weeks ago, Team Dallas Voice was first runner-up in a wind-power competition pitting journo-against-journo for a $2,500 cash donation to our favorite charity. Instead, we won $250 for Ranch Hand Rescue. (We fell to Colleen Coyle of Channel 8.) I was the star player on my team, of course — i.e., the only one capable of building a $0.15 pinwheel without adult supervision.*

So when I was invited to go solo for another journalist-only benefit competition — this time, $1,000 being donated in my name by Kroger to the North Texas Food Bank and Tarrant Area Food Bank — I relished the opportunity. Plus I didn’t have to go outside as with the wind game … always a plus.

This time, my creativity skills were being put to the test when I faced off against five other journalists at cake decorating. We each had 30 minutes, with the assistance of a Kroger bakery staffer, to turn pasty into a work of art. With the help of La Tricia, I set about it.

Decorating a cake is pretty hard. La Tricia made sure all my pastry bags were filled with butter cream frosting of various colors, and she showed me techniques (apply constant pressure! But not too much!) and walked me through. Being a gay pub, we settled on a rainbow theme, made variously of fruits, jelly beans and frosting.

You can tell I did most of the work myself. I have the penmanship of a serial killer, as Clairee might say, but I also hard heart — and a strong pitch. “You get three points for your presentation,” said Francie Cooper, one of the judges. I thought about a bribe too, but there were cameras on me.

In the end, I placed second after Jana from the Dallas Morning News — another Belo victory! I got no money donated in my name. Instead, I got to keep the cake. I’m feeding the working poor with it, i.e., my colleagues here at Dallas Voice. Ah, well, no reason why you can’t donate to the food banks — they need it. Summer is the hungriest time for kids. Why? Because school is out, so no access to hot lunches unless mom makes it. C’mon, give some money or drop off some cans. Kids should play in the summer, not worry about food.

*That’s pretty much all he did. — Teammates

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Deaths • 02.10.12

Obit.Wade.Petrick

Petrick Wade

Wade Petrik, 52, aka “Dixie Normous” of Dallas died peacefully at his home on Newton Avenue in Oak Lawn on Feb. 3, 2012.

Petrik was born Sept. 8, 1959 in Burlington, N.J., to Marianne and Bill Petrik. He grew up in Wichita Falls, Texas.

He loved his co-workers at Kroger on Cedar Springs, where Wade was a floor supervisor and an impromptu entertainer.

Blessed with an extraordinary sense of humor, Petrik always had an audience. Some may even remember his debuts at “The Does Your Mother Know Show.” He also worked the back door at the Round-Up Saloon, so if you tried to sneak in, he probably busted you.

Petrik is survived by his best friend, Rudy Leal; sisters, Dr. Trish Dodd, and Jessie Klein and her daughters; and a long list of wonderful friends in the gay community, who were truly family.

Services will be from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road. Wade loved his furry friends, especially his beloved companion, Randy, so please make donations to your local animal rescue group.

—  Kevin Thomas

Oak Lawn United Methodist Church to provide Thanksgiving meals to low-income families

The congregation of Oak Lawn United Methodist Church is teaming with Kroger on Cedar Springs Road to provide Thanksgiving meals to 50 local, low-income families. Associate Pastor Gregg Allan Smith reports:

Join us on Nov. 20th at noon as the Kroger trucks pull up in front of the historic church and the Kroger staff troops into the main sanctuary with 50 turkeys with all the fixins. The Oak Lawn congregation will pack the food into gift boxes to be given to the recipient families who will start arriving at around 1 p.m. If you would like more information about the Oak Lawn United Methodist Church “Community Table,” please call the Rev. Gregg Alan Smith at 469-995-6176 or e-mail to gregg.smith@olumc.org. You may also call David Edwards, facilities director, at 214-521-5197 ext. 204 or e-mail to david.edwards@olumc.org.

—  John Wright

Drawing Dallas

Cortney Guy makes one of the hottest Texas summers on record a little hotter — and we think that’s pretty cool

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator
mark@markdrawsfunny.com

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Name and age: Cortney Guy, 27

Spotted at: Kroger’s on the Strip

Occupation: CEO/founder fashion P.R. firm

Born in East Texas and raised in Mesquite, this handsome Gemini has a major in marketing/communications and a minor in graphic design. Entrepreneurial by nature, he is co-founder of a public relations company which specializes in branding up-and-coming fashion designers.

An “editorial beauty,” Cortney is comfortable in front of the camera as well and has been commercial, print and promotional modeling since age 15. A highlight of his career was when one of his photos taken by Marta Azevedo garnered international recognition. He considers himself “retired,” but he still models occasionally when a good opportunity arises.

Cortney loves the outdoors and when he’s not working you may find him rollerblading, rock climbing or simply cloud watching or star gazing. Eco-friendly by nature, he’s big on conserving, recycling and minimizing waste. A lover of the arts, he also enjoys all forms of live entertainment, including dancing and music.

Studious by nature, he excelled in school, but also competed in football and track. He has a teaching certificate and future career plans include teaching general communications.

Yo, big bro: Big Brother Cortney has been a member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters for several years, and he also has a god-daughter with whom he is very close. He wants to leave a legacy for children. He’s interested in instilling morals and values into the younger generation.

This down-to-earth and non-assuming gentleman considers himself “a country guy that lives in a big city.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 12, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Blonde ambition

NEW_Dolly-artwork_highres-rs

Dolly Parton keeps on truckin’ with a new album, a tour — and late-night trips to the Kroger in full Dolly drag

Dolly Parton, the “Queen of Country Music,” reigns on our (gay) parade with her new album Better Day and her concert tour, at the Verizon Theatre Tuesday. Better Day marks her 41st solo album of original material, and she ties Reba McEntire with four No. 1 country singles in four consecutive decades. Parton is far more than a country music star. Even calling her “iconic” seems too small for the larger-than-life persona.
From her humble roots in Tennessee, our “Backwoods Barbie” continues to be a doll to her gay fans. With some rare moments to spare, she talks behind the scenes of her tour and what’s beneath the makeup and glitter.

— Jerry Nunn

Dallas Voice: The first track on Better Day, “In the Mean Time,” is so feisty. What was your motivation for it? Parton: That is one my favorite songs because it sums up what is going on in the world, my attitude about it. Everybody is so down in the dumps and waiting for the end of time instead of doing something about it, enjoying the time they got. This whole album I wanted to write stuff to uplift people and give a positive spin on this negativity.

You’ve performed the first single, “Together You and I” on television, but is there a video in the works? Yes. Trey Fanjoy, who was director of the year at CMT this year, did a wonderful video that shows people from all over the world, love in all forms and fashions — more of a universal love. It is a beautiful video.

What can fans expect from your concerts now? We got all sorts of good things going with the Better Day World Tour. We have a lot of positive stuff in that by doing different things for the fans.

You have a huge gay following and they will always love you. Hey, a big shout out to them! We have fun with my gay crowds. We are going to be in L.A. for two days at the Hollywood Bowl, then in San Francisco. All ready so many of my gay fans have said they are going to be there in the front row. I love it. I have always loved my gay fans. They accept me and I accept them. We get along just fine. I am very proud and honored when they dress up like me or whatever they want to do!

What is your favorite thing about touring? People, the audience, I love that. I love to travel because I am a gypsy, but I enjoy performing for the fans that love to see it. I have been around so many years, worked so many audiences and had so many types of shows. Since the beginning, it is kind of fun to watch how things have changed. I have fans from little bitty kids now watching Hannah Montana with Aunt Dolly to my older fans and the new ones that have discovered my music. It is a really fun trip for me as you can imagine.

How fabulous is your tour bus? The set up is great. I have traveled on a tour bus since 1967. This current one is an updated, modern version, where there is room. Especially when it has stopped you can let the sides out and have a real home. I don’t stay in hotels so I just live on my bus. I’ve got everything from my kitchen to my televisions, DVDs and books. It’s a way to carry my wigs and my costumes. I am set up good for that.

Are you able to take off the wig and shop at Kroger without people recognizing you? Well, if I went to Kroger I wouldn’t take off my wig. I don’t go grocery shopping too much but when I do it’s usually in the wee hours after midnight. If I really want to cook certain things for a special occasion that I really need and I don’t trust anyone to find it I will go to the store. But I usually dress like myself and go in. I can’t be disguised because if I open my mouth you know it’s me! I sound as different as I look. There is no point in going and embarrassing myself by looking like hell.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 15, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Tasting notes

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SAY CHEESE | Murray’s Cheese Shop just opened at the Kroger Dr. Pepper Station with a delectable selection.
Murray’s: What a friend we have in cheeses; White Rock holds a picnic

What a friend we have in cheeses, now that Murray’s Cheese Shop has moved out of the ghetto of Greenwich Village in New York City and hit the real center of the cheese world, the hometown of Paula Lambert: Dallas.

At least, that’s how I approach it at my house, where a day without cheese is like a day without sunlight. So to have the celebrated fromagerie inside the Kroger Dr. Pepper Station is a coup for local cheese lovers.

The shop groups its cheeses by use more than style: Melting cheeses, stinky cheeses, spreadable, etc. Even better, there’s a section for this month’s specials, where you can get great deals. Don’t hesitate to ask for samples, or go outside your comfort zone, such as a deliciously crunchy version of two-year gouda called Reypanaer, or the veiny, pungent Smokehaus blue.

White Rock Lake celebrates its centennial with several culinary events this weekend. On Saturday, the beach turns into the Veranda Lounge, with a day-long choice of meals. Culinary couple Jeana Johnson and Colleen O’Hare of Good 2 Go Tacos serve brunch from 10 to 11:30 a.m., followed by lunch and wine at noon, afternoon tea at 2, cocktails at 4:30 and dinner with chef Marc Cassel starting at 7 p.m., followed by music and fireworks.

Then on Sunday, Brian C. Luscher, chef/owner of The Grape, hosts Chefs’ Picnic at the Lake, starting at noon at the Bath House Cultural Center. Cassel will be back, along with Jeff Harris of RedFork, Nathan Tate and Randall Copeland of Restaurant Ava and others. Visit HighlandParkCafeteria.com for more info and to purchase tickets.

Central 214 executive chef Blythe Beck recently adopted a dog, which motivated her to hold a benefit for Operation Kindness. (It’s also a mission close to our hearts — Dallas Voice profiles a shelter pet for adoption every week.) On June 30, the restaurant at the Hotel Palomar will hold a VIP Party — that’s Very Important Pet — on the patio, with drink special and all-you-can-eat bites for just $10. It runs from 7 to 10 p.m.

Dish is back with its drag brunch this Sunday, and will do them twice a month from now on, with bottomless mimosas and a special brunch menu.

Taste of Dallas returns to Fair Park, Friday, July 8 through Sunday, July 10. The annual festival of food features live music, contests and lots of tastings. Among the chefs on-hand are gay restaurateur Scott Jones of Macho Nacho and Cowtown Diner and Jason Boso of Twisted Root Burger Co. and Cowboy Chow. Tickets are $5 in advance or $8 at the gate. See the full lineup at TasteofDallas.org.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

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NUP_141681_0107TRAVEL DIARY

Josh Flagg, pictured, a star of the Bravo series Million Dollar Listing who came out earlier this year, is letting his Pride flag wave. Flagg will host a four-day dance party in the Quepos/Manuel Antonio area of Costa Rica next month. It takes place July 21–25 in a gated community on the Latin American nation’s South Coast. To learn more, visit HMCRPride.com/party.

GayTravel.com is reaching out to the queer artistic community to highlight the local arts scenes in destinations for its readers.
LGBT artists and allies who work in any media are invited to submit pieces that would be of interests to gay travelers — pieces promoting events, trends or just themselves that can add to the experience of visiting new locales. You can read more about it on the website, or email sophie.needelman@gaytravel.com for details.
— A.W.J.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 24, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Drawing Dallas • 05.13.11

YendorrFNL_3Yendor Reese stands against transphobia and homophobia —in heels

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator
mark@markdrawsfunny.com
Name and age: Yendor Reese, 27

Spotted at: Kroger’s on Cedar Springs

 

Occupation: Mortgage case worker
Yendor received his unusual name from his father Rodney, who had a unique sense of humor (it’s “Rodney” backwards). With his strong religious upbringing, it was a natural that this handsome Taurus would pursue a career in music. Originally planning to become a music minister, he first pursued a vocal performance (opera) major at TCU before switching to communications/human relations with a minor in religion and music. The change gave him a deeper understanding of other religions and lifestyles, providing him a gateway to his own coming out. He was the first African-American to win “Mr. TCU” in the history of that university.

Yendor was the lead singer for the soul/rock group Soulever Lift, but the group’s plans were set back when their lead guitarist was picked up by Erykah Badu. Yendor writes music and poetry, and plays tennis whenever he can find time in his busy schedule.

His thoughts on International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia: An occasional cross-dresser, Yendor takes a live-and-let-live approach to human understanding. “Why should anyone tell another person who they should love or how to dress or what sex they relate to more? Humans need every color to be a complete rainbow. This day is
a reminder that life is a little bit better with every color — even if it is pink.”

TracieFNL2_1Tracie Hardin combines a green thumb with an artist’s eye

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator
mark@markdrawsfunny.com

Name and age: Tracie Hardin, 26

Spotted at: FedExKinko’s on Greenville Avenue

Occupation: Botanist/creative director

Indigenous interests: This slim Sagittarian has spent his entire life in Texas, graduating with a biology degree from Tarleton State University. He originally pursued a career in fashion but got disillusioned with the “fickle, cutthroat” retail industry. His lifelong interest in plants led him to his current job, working in a greenhouse. Unlike the fashion business, “plants only yield, and they don’t talk,” he quips.

Art and music: Tracie’s varied interests include creating portraits using recycled materials. “My work is mainly people’s faces and the stories behind them.” His music tastes veer toward rock/hip hop/soul (a fave is Nina Simone). Tracie also practices religious fasting twice a month.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 13, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas