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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