View from 31st floor of Sheraton Dallas
I dashed off to Dallas on Friday for the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA) Annual Conference, where I gave a presentation on Audit Readiness. The conference was really great, with many good speakers and interesting topics. I got to stay at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, and had a room on the thirty-first floor!

An added benefit of the trip to Dallas was getting to hang out with Laura and Jason the day after their return from Amsterdam. I drove up to Denton to see them. Naturally I asked to go to Sweetwater for ceviche, and Beth Marie’s for ice cream. Reading that sentence, it dawns on me that beer, seafood, and ice cream sound like a terrible combination, but it is what I have whenever I go to Denton!  Beth Marie’s actually had Courthouse Pecan, which is my favorite of their ice creams.  They had been out of it my last couple of trips to Denton, so I was extremely pleased to get some!

I made it back to Austin in time for the All Saints’ Twenties and Thirties BBQ at Father Mike’s house. I am happy to say that Joey and I both plan to be in Austin through the end of 2010!

Opera in Dallas, A Weekend in Denton – May 2009

Last Saturday LD and I loaded Ela into the car and made a roadtrip to Denton to visit Laura and Jason and to take in Laura’s new opera in Dallas. Ela stayed with Laura and Jason, and was well behaved around the cats (although she did knock over that one flowerpot in the livingroom).

We visited our favorite stops on the square – Beth Marie’s Ice Cream, Jupiter House Coffee, and Recycled Books, and added a new favorite – Laura’s new business, Massage on the Square. Laura and her partner Wendy have opened a very comfortable beautifully appointed studio right next to Recycled Books. LD blogged about it here, but this was our first chance to see her new space.

The Opera was on Sunday night at the Rosewood Black Box Theater – We saw the “Voices of Change – New Music Ensemble of Dallas” production of “Transformations” by Conrad Susa, adapted from the book by Anne Sexton.

The book is a collection of semi-autobiographical poems Anne built by retelling Grimm’s Fairy Tails in a mental hospital. And it is creeeeeppy.

The opera wraps selected poems taken word-from-word from the original work and brings them to life in music. And it is creeeeeppy too. Here are a couple of scenes from the “Transformations” telling of “Hansel and Gretel”:

Massage on the Square

You may or may not know that in addition to being an amazing opera singer, my sister Laura is a registered massage therapist (RMT) in Texas.  From the time she was a little kid she would volunteer to give people a neck rub, and everyone always said she did a great job.  She took her natural talent to the next level when she attended massage therapy school between her undergrad and graduate degrees.  She has been working as a massage therapist for about five years (I could be wrong here).  She does all kinds of massage from hot rock to deep tissue.  She is always looking to improve her technique and learn new ways of working.

Laura and her friend Wendy started a massage business called Massage on the Square. Their first official day was 01 April 2009.  It is located in Denton, Texas, over the Recycled Books. As the name suggests, the location is on the main square in downtown Denton. I am very proud of her, and her new enterprise. If you make it up to Denton you should definitely take time to get a massage!

Laura sent these two pictures of the space to me, and I thought I would share them. Notice the text at the top of the wall in the second image. It is hard to read in the picture, but it says, “The best thing you can do for those you care about is take care of yourself.” That is the motto for their business – it is also on their website. Laura and Wendy have done such a great job designing their business, and I am taking this opportunity to brag on my little sis just a bit ;-)

massage-on-the-square-1 massage-on-the-square-2_0