The Jackie Hall Experience for Christmas Eve at Sue Ellen’s

Are you experienced?

After witnessing Jackie Hall’s performance at Twist Dallas earlier this year, we couldn’t wait till she got her voice down to the gayborhood. And that happens tonight. The Jackie Hall Experience welcomes in Christmas tonight with a slew of rock, R&B and of course, Christmas carols for the night. Do all that Christmas Eve stuff early and hit up the club for a voice to remember. Seriously, how she’s not a bigger star is beyond us.

DEETS: Sue Ellen’s, 3014 Throckmorton St. 9 p.m. SueEllens.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Letting it REGISTER • Pride Weddings & Celebrations 2011

Gift registries can be intimidating. Dean Driver makes them easy

FASHION. PLATE. | Dean Driver knows how to make a tabletop pop — and how to make it easy on you to choose your gifts. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

BY RICH LOPEZ

Perhaps the one wedding tradition same-sex couples might waffle on is signing up for that beg-a-thon, the gift registry. Forget whether to do so (you should); the real question is, where can you find that particular china pattern you once saw in a magazine?

The answer to that question is probably Dean Driver. With his new company, Consilium Lifestyle Collections, Driver makes what could be a daunting (even intimidating) task for same-sex couples possibly the easiest  job out of all the wedding planning.

“I don’t know if the average gay couple feels comfortable going into stores,” Driver says. “They may, but many retailers just aren’t reaching out to gay couples.”

Teaming up with Consilium Creative Marketing, Driver created what may be the first by-appointment source of its kind in Dallas to provide a wedding gift registry for same-sex couples. While the services are for everyone, Driver believes that this personal touch can bring comfort to any gay newlyweds hesitant about how to sign up for gifts. It also gives them a home field advantage when looking for fine tabletop products and more.

“The way we do business is changing, and this has afforded me the ability to do in-home consultations and also wedding registries,” Driver says. “I come to the client with samples to get an idea of their lifestyle and suggest products and can see what will work with what’s already in the home.”

The affable Driver knows his stuff. After working with tabletop industries for years in large markets like New York, he has access to many luxury brands and even unique home products. The usual china and crystal items are no problem, but items like linens and household accessories are more easily available through him.

Driver’s first piece of advice on getting started with a registry: Don’t be intimidated.

“I demystify all that for you,” he says. “That’s what I’m here for. I’ll make it easier for you. And people shouldn’t think that everything offered in a registry costs so much. We do have some unique options that are moderately priced.”

Consilium has only been around for a few months, but it has burst out of the gate with a selection of up to 50 brands, some exclusive to them. And with Driver’s knowledge and background, he can pretty much get anybody anything they want.

“I’m a sort of an expert in tabletops, and I have my finger on the pulse of the industry,” he says. “I go to Paris, to Milan and see all the new patterns. And if you saw a plate in a magazine and brought it to me,  I could pinpoint what it is. When I say anything, I mean anything — and you may be only person in the country to have it.”

Something his company can guarantee is the death of that most dreaded wedding tradition: The return. Once items are selected for the registry, gift givers don’t have to worry about buying an item that’s already been purchased. Instead, the company does gift cards only, which are beautifully packaged for the giver to present.

“This prevents exchanges or duplicates,” he says. “Plus, clients may change their minds and gift cards give them an opportunity to get something else. And it’s a little more green without all that wrapping paper and shipping to worry about.”

Driver and company seems to have gotten rid of all the excuses couples can make to partake in registering for gifts. Being that a wedding is a life-changing event, Driver mostly wonders why not go all out?

“Couples shouldn’t shy away from getting nice things,” he says. “This is the one time to get the nice stuff, so why not? Anything you want, I can get.”

The only caveat — Driver encourages people to use the nice stuff everyday.

“Yeah, don’t pack it away in a cabinet like our parents did,” he says.

Of course, if there’s one thing gays know how to do it’s merchandise.

For more information, visit ConsiliumLifestyleCollections.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 6, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Video: Same Alaska, another kind of ‘hopey-changey stuff’



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***SEE ALSO: Our June ’07 mention of the “HopeForHomosexuals.com” banner. We’ve mentioned it a few more times over the years, but it’s always pretty much the same thing: Plane, banner, dogma; blah, blah, blah. One link should be enough.




Good As You

—  admin

Pam’s adventures in vlogging…covering stuff you don’t want on the front page (w/a poll)

Hi folks, I’ve never done a vlog before; this is my first one (below the fold). I don’t think I’ll publish many of these on the Blend, so you’ll have to subscribe to my YouTube channel to see when a new one goes up, or follow me on Twitter.

I guess I’ve just thought of vlogging as yet one more thing I’d need to keep up with besides the blog, Facebook and Twitter — all are part of my routine to keep y’all up to date, and all take time to do it right.

In this case, I think vlogging will be a good therapeutic outlet for me as I walk through my ongoing health issues, rather than boring people on this blog. I know it’s my personal blog, but it’s also seen as a resource for political content now more than the former, so I have relegated most personal stuff to the slow-traffic weekends. Besides, writing takes more effort, and I really, really don’t have any more time to squeeze out of the day.

I face a major health decision soon, hence the vlog. More after the jump. TMI alert. Move along to another post if you don’t want to deal with talk of surgery and the like.
So for this first vlog, I figured I do the Cliff Notes version of the backstory by writing up some of what I discuss in the video in a diary, then move it straight to video only.

1. I have uterine fibroids that are wreaking havoc on my quality of life. As non-cancerous tumors, they are often not even a problem for most women (as many as 1 in 5 women have them)- they may not even be aware of them. Unfortunately, in my case, one of the three that could be seen on ultrasound is basically doubling the size of my uterus. My cycles are not only painful, but the amount of bleeding is outlandish in volume and duration.

2. Options: right now it’s down to two choices: a) endometrial ablation (basically burning/eliminating the lining of the uterus – stops your periods, you can no longer have kids) b) hysterectomy: variations of removing your reproductive organs.

3. Complicating factors: I have polycystic ovaries, fibromyalgia, and insulin-dependent, insulin-resistant diabetes. The latter is most relevant regarding higher chances of complications and infection for any surgery.

So if I have more invasive surgery, I may be offline for a while, but I’ll know more after this week, and perhaps I’ll have a date soon.

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One thing I didn’t mention in the video is my strange weight loss. I have spent most of my adult life dealing with the inability to lose weight. Not yoyo-ing. That would require me taking it off in the first place. Having to take insulin and having PCOS are big factors in making weight loss hard.

Then starting about six months ago, roughly coinciding to the monster inside my uterus growing and really making its presence known, the weight started coming off for no reason. No change in eating habits, no increase or decrease in exercise. I did have less of an appetite more often than before, so perhaps I would skip a meal, but that was never unusual when I was unable to lose weight.

That does not mean that the fibroid has anything to do with this; it just happened around the same time.

Anyway, here I am, 5 sizes smaller, 40 lbs lighter without trying. I’d love to say that’s great news, but when you’re not sure why, that’s a tad disturbing. I’d just like an explanation that makes sense.

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BTW, someone on Facebook thought it would be a loss not to include the vlogging as front-page entries since health care is a critical issue and I could expound on that in my videos. I told her that I’d put up a poll to see what regulars think. Obviously I don’t think my vlogs will need to be on PHB, but maybe some of you do. Weigh in.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright