Friday, May 31, 2013

Cesar Millan Concert Review

First of all, and unrelated to the rest of this post, I am playing tonight (Friday, May 31) at Culpepper Steakhouse in Rockwall beginning around 7pm.   If you live over that way, I hope you'll stop in!  You don't have to eat if you don't wanna- I play in the big bar area with really comfy seating.  Sometimes it's intimate, and sometimes it's more lively with a bigger crowd.  Either way, I play my guitar and sing for a few hours for anyone who wants to listen! 

Ok, now-  onto the true essence of today's post!

Last night, my friend Elaine texted me last minute because she had an extra, super duper cheap, ticket to go see Cesar Millan, a.k.a. The Dog Whisperer, at the Winspear Opera House here in Dallas.  Of course I said yes, totally excited and surprised to learn that he not only rehabilitates dogs and trains people, but he also sings opera!!! 
Cesar Milan at the Winspear Opera House
One reason for the super duper cheap ticket pricing was because we were way high up in the nose bleed section.  Here was our view:
Dizzy-ing heights at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas
Although it wasn't sold out, it was a pretty packed house.  Lots of kids came along with their parents.  And lots of people were wearing their Cesar Millan concert t-shirts.  (For realz.  They were.)  Good people watching for sure.

Disappointingly, there was no opera singing by Cesar.  Instead, he gave his usual spiel about dog psychology- "No touch, no talk, no eye contact", "Exercise, discipline, then affection", and "If you don't treat a dog like a dog, you're not respecting the animal" were ideas that were thrown around on stage throughout the night.  He brought along his very charming sidekick, Junior.

Cesar and Junior
The first half of the show was a little disappointing.  Anyone who watches Cesar's show (and I'm pretty sure most of the people that were there totally do!) probably learned nothing new.  But, Cesar's a pretty charasmatic guy so he delivered it well.  The second half of his show (yep, there was an intermission) was a little better.  Some people from "Paws in the City", a rescue group here in Dallas, brought some dogs on stage that needed a little rehab from Cesar.  With each case, the over all answer was the human's energy needs to be calm and assertive so the dog can be balanced.  There was also a Q & A segment, and the general answer to most of those problems addressed were "Your dog needs more exercise". 

Pretty simple.  Pretty basic.  But watching Cesar around dogs is magical.  Like he says, they do seem to be very aware of his energy and they get calm with him almost immediately. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thursday Matinee

Today,  my movie club of two went to see "What Maisie Knew."  It's based on a Henry James novel.  A very modern-ized version of it.

Maisie is the daughter of two terrible, selfish parents.  They basically use her as pawn to be cruel to each other post-divorce. Julianne Moore is a great actress.  I know this now more than ever.  Because I like usually her so much. In fact, she's the main reason I wanted to see the movie.  But her character was such a bitch, such a horrible person, that I just sort of hate her right now. 

I don't know who played the part of the little girl named Maisie, but she was so cute and played her part so well.  Ok, hold up-  Lemme go look up her name, because it wouldn't be right to leave that out... Ok, I just looked it up.  Her name is Onata Aprile

Maisie's divorced parents keep getting other people to take care of their little girl whenever their lives get in the way... Which is all the time.  Fortunately, altho they are complete assholes, they are lucky enough to somehow run across good people that take good care of Maisie.  She's her most safe, sound and happy when other people- sometimes even strangers!!, are caring for her.

I liked that the movie was told only thru scenes in which Maisie was present.  So you have the story told to you only thru what she sees and hears.  Cool way of doing it.

I promise to always take good care of you both!!!
I have no idea how strong the love towards your own kid could be- I can only compare it to how much I love Lucy and Ricky.  I would never, ever drop them off at a bar in NYC at night and assume the bartender inside is going to care for them.  I would never leave on a tour bus while they watched me drive away.  I would never neglect to pick them up from school. And I would never tell them their father is an asshole.  Even if he was! There are so many "I would nevers..." in this movie, that I feel pretty cool about my morals right now, just comparing myself to Julianne Moore's charactor.

As sad as it all sounds, believe it or not, the ending is happy. 

Lastly, I'd just like to mention that Maisie has the best child's haircut I've ever seen.  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Baby Bachelor

I am so pissed about this week's "The Voice" results that I can't even see straight.  But rather than write about that and spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it yet, I'm instead going to brighten your day with the funniest and cutest "The Bachelor/Bachelorette" spoofs I've ever seen.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Music Monday- "Without You"

I just bought the Natalie Maines solo CD, "Mother", partly out of curiousity.  I haven't dug deep enough into it to have a clear opinion of the CD yet, but it is very different from what she's done in the past with the Dixie Chicks.  Her country twang seems just about completely gone, and somehow, her voice just doesn't stand out the way it did before.

But who knows, maybe I'll come to love "Mother" once I listen to it more.

I've noticed already that the songs are growing on me.  Sometimes, it's not even the ones I necessarily like, but they are pretty catchy.  I can't necessarily give her credit for that tho, because most all of the songs were written by someone other than her.

The opening track of the CD is "Without You", written by the uber talented, Eddie Vedder.  It was first appeared on his "Ukelele Songs" CD.  I love Eddie.  What a distinct voice he has.  Here's his version of "Without You", which I think is just beautiful.

Now, here's Natalie's version.  It's no longer a ukelele song, and isn't nearly as pretty, but just so you can check out how Natalie is looking and sounding these days, I chose it for today's installment of Music Monday.

Altho, for me, Natalie's version doesn't have the magic Eddie's does, how can I not give her a little respect for choosing such a great song to open up her CD?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thursday Matinee

A few weeks ago, I met up with some friends.  Our conversation turned to having odd jobs and flexible schedules.  We agreed that although we love going to movies, we rarely allow ourselves the luxury of going mid-day, even though we could.

It's ridiculous, really, to guilt yourself into not doing fun stuff just because you think you're being too kind to yourself.  Too kind to yourself? That's stupid.

So we decided we'd go together.  Sort of like having a work-out buddy, having a movie buddy will encourage us to be a little decadent and sit in the middle of a dark theater when lots of other people are sitting at a desk working.

Today we saw "The Place Beyond the Pines."  Two thumbs up.  (There were only two of us that ended up going, so it's actually a unanimous thumbs up!)  I hardly knew anything about the movie when I walked in, other than Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper star in it.  I actually mis-remembered any previews I saw, thinking Ryan and Bradley were going to become bank robbers together.  Since I was totally wrong, I couldn't believe how the story twisted around.  I never knew what was going to happen next, and I love it when I'm watching a movie like that.  Great acting all around, even from Eva Mendez, which I wasn't expecting!  In fact, I went in there planning not to like her because I've heard in real life, she's dating Ryan Gosling, and I'm just jealous.  But she played her role well-  She wasn't just a pretty face.  In fact, she prettied down from this role. 

I can't tell you much about this movie without spoiling things.  But it's one of those movies where lives intersect.  The story takes place over the span of 15 years, and you see how actions that are taken go on to affect the trajectory of people's lives.  It's a pretty thought provoking movie, so I recommend going with a movie buddy so you can then go to Starbucks for a little coffee talk afterwards!

Thursday Matinee is going to be a regular feature on my blog from now on.  I'm stoked to know I'll be seeing a movie each week.  With a movie buddy to hold me accountable! 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Back on this day, in 1994, Fermin and I tied the knot.  Nineteen years ago!
a picture of a picture of our wedding day- may 22, 1994
 Although Fermin and I went to the same highschool and went on one date in 11th grade, it wasn't until a few years later that we actually started dating, and we became boyfriend and girlfriend.  We started dating when I was 19.  I was only 19!
Like the awesome song by the Old 97s goes, "19, is not the age of reason..." But somehow, something magical happened at the age of 19 for me, and I was smart enough to recognize and hold onto it, or as the case may be, Fermin
Us- right around the age of 19.
I got lucky.  I married my best friend.  We were probably too young to make good life-long decisions back at that young age, but somehow, luck has been on our side, and as we've grown up, we've grown together, rather than apart, as can sometimes happen. 
I don't take what we've got for granted. We've had ups and downs, because that's just the way love and life go.  But I plan on hanging on, for the rest of my life, to the best thing that's ever crossed my path.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Music Monday: "I Will" by Brandi Carlile

Well, I'm still stuck on Brandi Carlile for this week's Music Monday pick.  Although I've at least now moved on to a different song off of a CD.

This song, "I Will" is from her "Give Up the Ghost"- another CD that from start to finish is nearly perfect.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Small Parties Only

I have a childhood friend who started a direct sales contemporary clothing company called Winnie and Kat.  I keep seeing her posts on Facebook, and I comment when I see stuff that looks great...which is often!  Her clothes are stylish, and look comfortable.
I'm just so impressed by what she's doing.  She's created a great clothing line, and has been very successful in selling her stuff.  She's about to be on the Marie Osmond show, she's done some cool radio interviews, etc.  From time to time, I just wanna give her a little online high-5!

Her clothing line isn't sold in retail stores, but like I said, it's direct sales.  Which means, her products are sold by women selling to their friends- at home parties, sort of like Pampered Chef, Silpada, or Tupperware.

That sounds totally fun to lots of women. Lots of women love to shop with their girlfriends.  Also, lots of women love getting together with a large group of their friends for drinks and snacks.  Additionally, lots of women love throwing a good party.  But for me, no.  And no.  And finally, no.

But my friend and I haven't seen each other since junior high school, so how was she to know what a little hermit crab I am as a grown woman?  She asked me if I would be interested in hosting a party here in Dallas in support of her clothing line.  As supportive as I longed to be for her, I just knew hosting a party would not be a way I could feel comfortable helping her out.

The social pressure of asking people to something I'm hosting, and expecting them to show gives me a terrible ache in the pit of my stomach.  Even for me to show up to a large event someone else is hosting, hurts my stomach and give me a severe headache. 

It would be great if I liked doing this kind of stuff.  I could host not only a party for my friend's company, I could have a trunk show for my own jewelry business, Resparkable Vintage.  And then, I could ask friend's to host a party.  And so on, and so on, and so on!  Oh, how I wish that sounded like fun and I could get other people enthused about it too!

All of this is not to say I don't enjoy socializing with my lady friends!  But I am so much better in small group situations.  People don't even realize the degree of my social anxiety, because in small group circumstances, I'm fine.  (And by small, I mean 5 or less.  Even better, one on one.)

I was so nervous my friend would take my aversion to hosting a party the wrong way.  It's sometimes hard to understand someone's point of view when it's so different than your own.  But she was totally cool about it.  She just thanked me for my honesty and asked me to let her know if I knew of anyone wanting to make some extra cash and get involved with her company.  (So, hey!  If that's sounds like you, let me know- Or visit her site and find out more here!)

Something I've learned as I've grown older, if you can just be honest and tell people where you're coming from, they're usually pretty cool about it.  The worst thing to do is to make up some b.s. excuse, which is the route the younger version of myself might have taken.  Just sayin'...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Great Gatsby

A little later this afternoon, I'm going with a friend and her bookclub- (right, it isn't my bookclub, I'm crashing her bookclub...) to see "The Great Gatsby".

I have held on to Mom's paperback copy of The Great Gatsby since she died.  It was the last book she was reading.  Her bookmark remains right where she left it.  She had already read the book before, and had told me she felt like reading it again.  But, I guess she never made it all the way thru it the second time around.
Mom's paperback copy of The Great Gatsby- notice that the bookmark she used is an angel. 
I remember a while back, someone told me I should look at that page where the bookmark was to see if there were any words or phrases that might hold some significance.  I didn't do it back then, it just seemed too sad.  But about a month ago, I ran across the book and looked at where Mom must have abandoned the book.
And I did notice something significant, that I think would have made Mom just sigh, and put the book down, and opt for a nap instead.  The page she had the bookmark in reads:
"I'm sick," said Wilson without moving. "I've been sick all day."
"What's the matter?"
"I'm all run down."

Mom had ovarian cancer for about 5 years, and put up a long, hard fight against it.  I know Mom was just tired.  Tired of being sick and feeling run down.  Reading those words just probably further exhausted her.

Fortunately, the end of Mom's life seemed relatively peaceful and free of pain, partly due to hospice care, and also I think, due to finally be able to just let nature take it's course with her.  It was sort of a miracle, all the stuff she feared might happen, that was in fact likely to happen, didn't.  For that, I was thankful.  Nature was kind to her as far as that went.

Mom loved the movies.  She was a great movie buddy for me.  I will be thinking, of course, of her when I watch The Great Gatsby today!
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I Love a Good Coincidence!

Yesterday, in my "Music Monday" post, I wrote about Brandi Carlile's phenomenal CD, The Story.

And then, last night on "The Voice", my favorite singer on the show, Sarah Simmons, sang the title track, "The Story"- brilliantly!  Pretty cool.  The CD came out in 2007, but we're still talking about it and singing about it!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Music on Monday- Brandi Carlile

I thinks it's cool when blogs have a regular feature.  As in each Saturday, they post a chicken recipe.  Or every Wednesday, they post a before and after picture of a thrift store purchase. I've tried to do it on my blog before, but by about the third week, I lose focus and then forget all about it.

But I'm gonna give it another shot.  Starting today.  So here it is, our first edition of Music on Monday. 

I love Brandi Carlile.  I have all of her studio CDs (although I just learned there are a few live CDs I don't have...yet). 
All are seriously just amazing.  But today, I'm really just talking about The Story CD.

When I dug it out the other day and put it in my car, it was familiar, but it wasn't a CD I had really listened to a lot.  I buy so many CDs, and sometimes so many at a time, that a few of them fall between the cracks so to speak.  Because of that, this almost feels like The Story is a new CD I'm only just now discovery. And I feel so lucky! (And also. so stupid that I didn't fully obsess over it the first time around!)

Pretty much every single song is great.  I think the only one I usual skip over is the 13th track... But that might be mainly because I know that about a minute or two after that final song ends is the "hidden track".  And the hidden track is one of my very favorites.  "Hiding My Heart Away".  Here is is:

After looking around for it on YouTube, I found that Adele covers it and does a version as well.  But in my opinion, Brandi sings it so much better.  Probably because she wrote it. 
The other stand out tracks, for me anyway, are "The Story", "Downpour" (oh, how I love the cello!), and "Shadow on the Wall".  But like I said, all the songs are really great.  If you don't already own it, or haven't downloaded it, you really should do it NOW.  I'll make it easy.  Just click here to go get it on Amazon!

I want to start a Brandi Carlile tribute band!!!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Make Your Own Unique Earring Display

If you saw my post from last week about my estate sale finds, you might remember this frame-
A greeting card with the same image was taped to the back of the photo, and the painting itself was dated "1967", which leads me to believe the frame was around the same age.  Which means I love it, because I especially love thing when they are older than me!  ;)

I've been looking for a pretty, ornate, vintage frame to use to make an earring display.  I thought this one was just perfect!

I went up to Home Depot and bought a small roll of small "chicken" wire.  It only cost about $10, and there's plenty to use for other similar projects down the road.  I also bought a staple gun.

Then, all I had to do was remove the painting from the frame, cut the chicken wire down to the correct size, and then staple it onto the back of the frame. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
And old frame, a little chicken wire and some staples equals a fine looking earring display!
Here's how it looks from the front, with a few new pairs of repurposed vintage earrings that will all be available in my ResparkableVintage Etsy shop very soon!
Repurposed Vintage Frame! (Adorned with Repurposed Vintage Earrings, of course!)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Jodi Arias First Degree Murder Conviction

Whew- Just announced:
Justice was served.  Now we move into the punishment phase of the trial beginning tomorrow.

I'm emotional and a little speechless just now, but I'm sure I'll have more to say on it soon.  For now, I am so glad that the jury came to their conclusion, and that they obviously didn't buy into all of Jodi's lies... 

Jodi Arias Trial- Verdict Reached!

This trial has been ruling my life for months!  It's had near constant coveraged on HLN and people have become obsessed with it.  I am one of those people.

I went to my yoga class today, but rather than go out to lunch after, I opted to come home, because honestly, I was thinking, "What if the verdict comes in today and I miss it?" 

I just got home, flipped on HLN, and within about ten minutes, I saw this:
Thank you, Yoga, for giving me that clarity I needed to help me skip the Potbelly sandwich and come straight home instead!  Although the verdict won't be announced for a couple of hours, I want to watch all the pre-verdict hoopla!

After hearing all the evidence, it seems so clear to me that Jodi committed premeditated first degree murder... So I am really hoping the jury saw it that way as well...

Stay tuned.  I am. :) 

Friday, May 3, 2013

This Week at Estate Sales!

I had grounded myself from going to estate sales for the last several weeks.  Although it's one of my favorite things to do, it's also really time consuming.  And if you hit a few bad ones in a row, it feels like a waste of time.   I decided I needed to take a little break, and perhaps my luck would change and I'd start stumbling on some good ones again.

This week, I found two estate sales that started on Wednesday!  I had a free morning, and both of them were fairly close to my house, so who was I to say no to that?

I loved both of the sales!  They were in older homes-  One of them even had all the original carpeting, wallpaper, and appliances inside.  And although it was all dated, it was in good shape...  Which communicates to me that these people loved and took care of their stuff!  In other words, vintage items in good shape.  Yay!!!

I found all these things from one of the sales...
All this stuff from  one little estate sale!
The frame I'm going to use for a project-- which I'll be sure to post about soon!
I got a sweet plant holder to put outside in a garden area.  Altho you can barely see it in the picture, the metal thing, bottom left corner, was a dinner bell, hung on the wall of their kitchen. I plan on using it as a windchime.   In the clear little box (to the left of the framed painting), were some vintage beads and buttons.

Small vintage English bowl, with small Monet vintage pin.
I love to find pretty little bowls to keep my trinkets in, like this one pictured above!
Small vintage bud vase
I think this little bud vase is maybe the cutest vase ever.  And at just a $1, how could I say no?  What?!  $1?  Yep, $1.
Ornate pin cushion
I may have to take up sewing so that I'll have a need for a pin cushion after finding this one.  I just couldn't walk away from it.  I certainly didn't need this.  But one of the things I love about estate sales is finding the unexpected treasure.  This is a treasure for sure.  And yes, quite unexpected!

Music box that plays "Tenderly"
And lastly, this little music box...  I'm a sucker for music boxes.  Mom use to give them to me, so I have a nice collection.  Anytime I see a special one, I think of it as a gift from her...  This one plays a song called, "Tenderly" which I actually haven't heard before, but it is a melody I just couldn't resist!

These estate sales might have been time-consuming, but a waste of time?  No way!!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


I wrote this song right around this time last year...

"Mayday"- It's about the things that just don't seem to last long enough-  Which I've always thought was true of Spring.

Happy May, Everybody!  Enjoy the blooms, and the butterflies, and all things fleeting...
The buzz of Spring, and butterfly wings
My hearts a-flutter until there's a sting
What was once was sweet and couldn't be beat
Melts away in the thick of the heat

I'm calling Mayday, oh Mayday, oh Mayday
Save me from the crash
Mayday, oh Mayday, oh Mayday
I want this to last

The flowers bloom and hang on thru June
T'il the Springtime fades, endings always come too soon
The heat will rise, right before our eyes
The dangerous highs of a perfect Springtime


I'm standing barefoot in the sand
I'll sink when you let go of my hand