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Monday, November 12, 2012

WEGO NHBPM - Day 12 - Smoking is NOT a right.

Today’s Topic - Call BS on something. What’s something that is just ridiculous?

That smoking is a right that deserves legal protection. That is BS.
Everyone has a right be who they are. Everyone has a right to access safe and affordable health care. Everyone has a right to practice their religion, vote for the candidates they choose, marry who they love, live in a safe place, get an education.
But I call BS on that fact that people think smoking should be considered a right.
No one has a “right” to make themselves and those around them sick. No one has a “right” to become a burden on the health care system. No one has a “right” to die a slow, agonizing death. No one has a “right” to ruin people’s meals, make others cough, drive people away from a table or a chair or a bench or other public space.
No one has a “right” to make the parking deck impassable and finding a seat in an outdoor café impossible. No one has a “right” to take break after break throughout the workday while everyone else stays on task. No one has a “right” to give their children cancer.
There is no reason to smoke. None. If you want a high, dance, run, bike, hike, kayak, exercise. Fill your lungs with air, move across the floor, run down the sidewalk, glide across the water, reach and stretch and spin and paddle and play. If you want to feel relaxed, meditate. Forget about what’s burdening you, clear your mind, steady your heart rate. If you want a break, go on an adventure. Slip out of the world and into discovery and enjoy a break that doesn’t kill or cost.
It may not be illegal. But that does not make it a right. It’s a burden to everyone, the smoker and non-smoker alike and there’s no excuse for partaking. If someone, somehow feels they simply must smoke, they must insure that NO ONE else is affected in any way from the smell to the second hand smoke. They must not look to health insurance to pay for the results. They must work longer hours to make up for their breaks. When it comes to others, they must make it as if they aren’t smoking at all.
Smoking is not a right. Breathing clear air, however, is. It’s an inalienable right, and its a right that demands protection. No BS.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Guest Post from Megan Wood - the YoFoMat

Traditional yoga mats makes terrible travel companions. In an effort to open my hips I've dragged a rolled up yoga mat with me through Belize, to California, and around Argentina. The mat either had to be brought on the plane as a cumbersome carry-on or smashed into my suitcase. Not so zen. Which is too bad, because one of the many perks of yoga is that practicing it is low-hassle—all one needs is their body and a mat.

When I found out I'd be spending two weeks in Southern France, I abandoned the idea of bringing my yoga mat altogether. I figured I'd just use a towel. (My poor spine.) Then, I stumbled upon YoFoMat, a foldable yoga mat. I had to have it. I ordered the Travel Yoga Mat, which comes standard in extra long and in a variety of colors. ($37 and free shipping)

The YoFoMat folds into a tidy square the size of a textbook and comes in a plastic carrying case. The case with the mat folded inside weighs under three pounds and neatly fit into my suitcase. After arriving in France, I was a little weary of opening the mat for fear I'd never properly fold it back up. I can barely fold a map. But the YoFoMat is designed to fold without any frustration. Best of all, the bottom of the mat never comes into contact with the top surface, meaning I don't have to put my hands or face on a dirty mat.

After an eight hour flight I did a 20 minute post-travel practice with the YoFoMat on top of a rug. I found the YoFoMat to have a sticky grip and enough padding to support my sensitive spine. The material doesn't smell like chemicals, as some yoga mats do. After, I was able to quickly fold the mat back into a square and sit on it as a comfortable alternative to a meditation prop.

YoFoMat is now a must-have in my travel arsenal. My hips are happy.

-Megan Wood

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New Seasons 52 opening at NorthPark Center in Dallas

A new Seasons 52 is set to open on Monday, October 29 at North Park. I had the chance to get a sneak peak tonight at a fabulous media dinner, complete with a wealth of delicious wines.

Here's the run down!

We started with apps in the bar, Artichoke and Goat Cheese Flatbread and Chipotle Shrimp Flatbread. (Sorry, no pic. I'm afraid I was too busy eating.) We were treated to live music, including everything from Billy Joel to Maroon 5.

Then it was off to the private dining room.

 For the Amuse Bouche - Crab & Haas Avocado 

And then it was the march of the courses:

Organic Field Greens, Grilled Portobello Mushrooms, Toasted Pistachios, Aromatic Truffle Dressing

 Organic Salmon, Lemongrass Sea Scallop & Autumn Farmers Market Vegetables

 Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli, Roasted Garlic, Basil, Organic Tomato Broth

Mesquite-grilled Piedmontese Strip Steak & Manchester Farms All Natural Quail with Mashed Sweet potatoes & Bourbon-chili Glaze  

Mini Indulgences
Key Lime Pie, Old Fashioned Carrot Cake, Rocky Road, Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse, Mocha Macchiato and Pecan Pie. Seasonal favorites like our Pumpkin Pie Mini with Double Gingersnap Crust in the Fall

 The chef busy at work on the kitchen.

The food was delicious. The service was great. And the atmosphere was comfortable and upscale at the same time. It's a chain, yes. But it's an excellent one and a great addition to the current NorthPark options.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

How to blog

People often ask my advice about starting or writing a blog. A friend of mine asked me just today, in fact. So, I thought I'd share the advice I generally give.

These are the two best pieces of writing advice I have ever received -

1. Butt in chair.

2. Honesty. Always. Or don't bother.

My writing mentor says that the biggest problem people have is simply not sitting down and doing it. So, sit down and do it. You'll be ahead of 75% of people who say they want to write but don't.

She always always tells us that honest writing is the best writing. Forget what you think people want to hear or how you think something should unfold or any of that other stuff that your "inner critic" will torture you with. Shut down the shoulds. Write what you know. Write the truth. And people will respond.

Check back for more tips. In the meantime - Butt in chair...

Exciting News! The Divinity of Dogs is almost out!

On October 23, 2012, the new book The Divinity of Dogs will be released... and I have an essay in it! The piece is about my Chihuahua / Cairn Terrier mix named Walter and how he has changed me in so many ways. I wasn't even a dog person until I met him for on!

Check it out here.

And this is Walter! Photo taken by the amazing Andy Keye of Andy Keye + Whitney Photography!

Doug Varone and Dancers

Doug Varone and Dancers overtook the Winspear Opera House with a performance that left audiences awed. The show opened with little circumstance. The curtain lifted and dancers in grey and neutral-toned, street wear-like costumes were revealed. There was something a bit androgynous about the style on initial impact.

The work was markedly contemporary. The choreography is full of the wide, deep plies reminiscent of Martha Graham; the small, intrinsic wrist moves of Bob Fosse; and the long, leggy leaps of classical ballet. The dancers covered the stage leaving the very air around them filled with movement.

Read the rest at by clicking below.

Doug Varone and Dancers

Second City Does Dallas

Second City is like an incubator for some of the country’s best comedians. Right now Dallas is lucky to have some of those comedians in town for a show created just for our fair city, "Second City Does Dallas." The show, presented as part of Dallas Theater Center’s season, is a mix of the sketch comedy for which Second City is famous, as well as a little improv, something else for which its cast members are known for being masters.

The incredibly talented cast was made up of Second City actors Frank Caeti, Amanda Blake Davis, Martin Garcia, Scott Morehead, and John Sabine, as well as Dallas’ own Liz Mikel. The evening’s sketches included stabs and jabs at all things Dallas, from the personal to the political and every subject in between.

Click below to read the rest at

"Second City Does Dallas"

Cirque du Soleil: Kooza in Dallas

This summer, as I flew a kite along the shores of the Outer Banks in North Carolina, I couldn't remember the last time I had done that. Last night, as I watched Cirque du Soleil's Kooza at the edge of my seat, I couldn't remember the last time I had done that either.

I don't mean the last time I saw Cirque or any other show for that matter. I mean the sitting on the edge of my seat part. For the first time, in a long time, I felt as if I was being entranced by actual death defying feats. And, I have to tell you, it was fun. There is something darker and more sinister than previous Cirque shows, and I liked it.

The show's story is loosely based around a small boy trying to fly a kite and a mysterious "Trickster" who shows him a world of wonders from funny clowns to teetering acrobats to dancing skeletons. Like most of Cirque's productions, the show is made up of a series of acts with clowns performing in between. Kooza held true to the format.

Read the read at Huffington Post by clicking below:

Cirque du Soleil: Kooza in Dallas

It's Just Common Sense: We Can't Elect Mitt Romney

I passed out at the airport last Thursday. I'm still not 100% sure what happened. One minute I was talking to the gate agents and fellow passengers about the best options for getting to Vail as weather had caused our flight to be cancelled. And the next minute I had my head in someone's lap.

"Everything's okay," she said. "You're fine. Just relax." I still don't know who that incredibly sweet woman was. But thank you, if you somehow happen to be reading this.

They raced me to the ER where, after a barrage of tests, the doctor told me that I was tired, thirsty, hungry, stressed, and overworked. No kidding. But how does that happen?

Click below to read the rest at Huffington Post!

It's Just Common Sense: We Can't Elect Mitt Romney

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

7 for All Mankind: And I thought they were just jeans...

When I think of 7 for All Mankind, I definitely think of great looking, great fitting jeans. But jeans is pretty much the end of it. But it shouldn't be. I guess I'm pretty behind the times, because they are doing equally great looking tops and shorts and jackets and bags and shoes and even sunglasses. 

I went to a showing of their newest line at their North Park Center store here in Dallas, and I was blown away by all of the great colors and super cute patterns. I am in love with the teeny, tiny shorts they are showing this season. And I couldn't stop touching the fabrics, which are soft enough to never bother taking off.

Their bell bottom jeans and skinny jeans also got my attention cut, color, and pattern-wise. Some of the looks are totally flashback to the 80s. (In a good way, of course!) I have an obsession with shoes that are unreasonably high and these jeans scream for exactly that.

And, if you live here in Dallas, you've probably already noticed how unbearable the heat is already becoming. Jeans are not my first go to in the heat. But there were lots of goodies from super light tops to those tiny shorts that I mentioned that are sure to be my go-to pieces as I do my best to stay cool while still looking cool.

Any way, just wanted to share a few thoughts and a few pics in case you too still think just jeans when you think 7. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Open Marriage isn't about cheating, Newt Gingrich...

Want to know how a real open marriage works? Read "Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage."

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Leonard Volk Signing at Calypso

Check out this signing with Dallas photog Leonard Volk. Amazing work surrounding what many of us don't even take notice of.

January 18
5:30 - 8:00
Calypso, The Plaza at Preston Center

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lionel Lamy's Pseudoarchaeology

Even without the show's title, the viewer knows immediately upon entering the gallery that there is something both archaeological and pseudo about what they are seeing.   
There are portraits of great men we should know. At least we think that are great and think that we should know them. The truth is they are portraits of the idea of being wise, of being learned, of being important. But they are not of anyone in particular who possesses those traits.
The portraits bear x's on their faces or around them. They are black and white and the x's or other strokes or designs or scrawling lines around them are in color.
Some of the faces are more distinct than others, which are blurred or have lines painted on them as if the skull is showing through.
The men are serious and poised and posed. They look like scholars  and philosophers, and their faces bear expressions of anger or disappointment or, on some, simply stillness. Strangely, they seem angry at or disappointed in the viewer. Or they seem blank, looking beyond or through the viewer.
They are the faces of no man and of every man. They remind us that there were great men and we don't always remember them. But we should. They are not fodder for archeology. Except that they are. Not because they are tellers of fact. But instead because they are tellers of our stories, as art so often is.
Other pieces in the show are darker and more tribal, with eyes staring out from canvases painted in designs in blues and reds, oranges and yellows. They both frighten and invite. They seem not to be our own archaeology, but instead that of another culture, perhaps one less "civilized."
But in this show, the viewer cannot help but connect them to the works that surround them. These pieces may not represent the history we want to tell. But it is history that we must own.  We have our own tribes and darkness among us. Our history is not all made of noble men.
A few pieces in the show look like maps, including "street fewer" with glowing silver streaks and curves and lines and shapes in blue and red and white and black. The work seems to imply that it can tell you where you need to go, but what it reveals is nothing but confusion.
The same can be said for the for the figure in the oldest piece in the show titled simply, "the business man." Strokes of black emanate from the man's head as if he's going in too many directions. The background is graffiti and, at first glance, the suit jacket he wears looks more like a doctor's coat. He's any man in any business on any day. His image cannot tell us where he is going or where it has been. It, like the "maps," portrays nothing but confusion.
All of the faux archaeology in the show feigns to give us information about a culture long gone. But they are not artifacts. They are an artist's musing of what our artifacts might be. And that is what is so clever about this show. It means nothing, as the history is "faked." But it means everything, because what is being faked is too close to our own history to not reveal at least some truth.
Some say it is our histories that tell our stories. But often it is our art that is far better at that task.
See the show at Jacques Lamy Gallery through January 10. (The artist, Lionel Lamy, is gallery owner and artist Jacques Lamy's son. Well, you know what they say about the apple...)
1607 Dragon Street