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Sunday, June 26, 2016

What's on a Celebrity's Bucket List?

What does a bucket lister do when given the opportunity to speak to some really cool guests at Comicpalooza? She asks them what's on their bucket list!
I was given the amazing experience of being able to interview some very talented people before and during the Comicpalooza comic convention, held annually here in Houston Texas, and I couldn't help asking them about their own goals and dreams. Here's what they answered - 

Livvy Stubenrauch (Young Anna from Frozen) - moving to Los Angeles, continuing to do voice acting and movies, and going to college.

Eva Bella - (Young Elsa from Frozen, Shimmer and Shine, Parenthood) - traveling to all 50 states. 

Ming Chen - (Comic Book Men on AMC) - it varies from visiting every country to becoming a Yoga instructor, going into space, hang gliding over the Serengeti, and swimming with great whites sharks in South Africa.

Anita Long  (President of Women in Film) - continuing to build her girls' program globally. 

Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk, Celebrity Apprentice) - would like to work on a TV sitcom on a weekly basis.

Chuck Huber (Star Trek, Dragonball Z, Soul Eater) - to make more movies, climb Mt Everest, and own a flying car or a flying machine and be able to use it legitimately to commute. 

Chris Kirkpatrick (N*Sync, Fairly Oddparents, Dead 7) - jumping out of a plane.

AJ McClean (Backstreet Boys, Dead 7) - flying in a fighter jet and playing with wolves in the wild. He just marked off swimming with dolphins 5 days before I spoke to him. Go AJ! 

Erik-Michael Estrada (O-Town, Making the Band, Dead 7) - being in any upcoming Star Wars movie. 

Kel Mitchell (Kenan and Kel, Good Burger, Game Shakers) - jumping out of a plane and being able to swim well.

Burton Bell (Fear Factory) - going into space.

Dino Cazares (Fear Factory) - as far as Houston, finding the best Mexican restaurant. Overall, making the band as big as possible.

I wish all of these great people the best of luck in achieving all their goals. Appreciation to everyone for talking with me!

(I was given four 3 day passes in exchange for my participation at Comicpalooza, however all thoughts, opinions, and experiences are entirely my own)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Comicpalooza 2016

Sadly my favorite time of the year has come and gone once again. I am so grateful to have been able to be a part of Comicpalooza again this year in Houston. I decided shortly after leaving the convention last year that I was going to dress up this time, and immediately started working on a concept for my cosplay. I ended up going with Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider series of video games and movies. I was nervous, as a 41 year old mother of 5, if I could pull it off but the wonderful thing about Comicpalooza is that anyone can be who they want to be there and it doesn't matter what your age, physical ability, or appearance is. When you don your costume and enter the George R Brown, you are accepted and appreciated. One of my favorite cosplay I saw this weekend was a man in a wheelchair dressed as Super Mario and his chair was outfitted as a Mario Cart. The woman with him was dressed as Princess Peach. How wonderful is that?

I started off Friday morning by checking out the 22,000 Mars Orion mock-up that NASA brought to their exhibit. I was also able to speak with Darrel Raines about the Orion.

Although some of the guests were not scheduled to be at the convention until Saturday and Sunday, there were still plenty of people to get autographs and photos with, and the shorter lines were definitely a big plus. As I was standing at the booth of Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali with my friend Josh Barry, also a drummer in a band called Jealous Creatures, before the convention, I mentioned to him that Josh was a huge fan and asked if he wouldn't mind speaking to us on camera. He agreed and I let Josh do most of the talking as meeting Mr. Banali was on his bucket list.

In addition to the celebrities, there are numerous artists and vendors in the main exhibit hall. As tempting as it was to spend an entire paycheck on all the cool art and merchandise, I managed to restrain myself and only buy a few prints and an autographed X-files picture for my husband for Father's Day. My son was excited to be able to get autographs from Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and David Prowse (Darth Vader).

Saturday I decided to spend some time talking to various celebrity guests about what is on their bucket lists and how they were enjoying Houston. I got some really great answers from Greyston Holt and Steve Lund from Bitten, the metal band Fear Factory, Chris Kirkpatrick of N*Sync, AJ McClean of Backstreet Boys, and Kel Mitchell of Game Shakers and Good Burger, which I will discuss in my next blog post. The big highlight of the day for me was getting my photo taken with Bill Paxton, who was there for the big Aliens 30 year reunion, along with many other members of the movie's cast. I've seen Titanic and Twister probably hundreds of times, no lie, so I was giddy with glee over meeting him. He was incredibly nice and let me know that he didn't think it was crazy at all that I'd seen his films so many times (imagine that!). He started to tell me about a new series he has coming out, but the little girls in line behind me jumped in and he couldn't finish. I know I'm looking forward to it though.
I can't talk Julia, we've got cows!

Sunday I got my photo op with Norman Reedus, aka Darryl Dixon of The Walking Dead, and I attended two panels. One was for Michael Rooker of Walking Dead, Guardians of the Galaxy and Mallrats. I arrived late due to having waited in line for Norman, but still managed to catch lots of fun stuff. The second panel I attended was the Boondock Saints Q&A. I've loved this movie for years so I was quite excited to be able to cover it. About 26 minutes in to the panel, Norman Reedus came out and sang Happy Birthday to Clifton Collins Jr and gave him a cake. Amazing moment!

If you have not yet attended Comicpalooza because you don't think there's anything for you, let me just put that notion to rest immediately. Yes, there are comic book illustrators, and there's also celebrity guests from various genres such as film and tv, wrestling, and music, there are panels on topics such as writing, paranormal investigating, obtaining scholarships, origami, drawing, film making, as well as celebrity panels. There's NASA, laser tag, costume contests, roller derby, Doomsday wrestling, BMX biking, and this year there was even a Japanese fashion show. The lineup changes from year to year, but one that that never changes is that Comicpalooza has something for everyone. And I am already excited for next time!

Charlie Hunnam AKA Jax Teller walked right past me!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Salt Room Houston - Halo therapy and doing an Emotion Code Session

I had never heard of Halo therapy until I saw something in my local newspaper about a new place called Salt of the Earth Houston opening around my neighborhood. After  quick google search I discovered that sitting in a room full of salt and having salty air pumped in for you to breathe had amazing health benefits and I knew it was something I needed to try.  Salt is anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory.   Halo therapy is intended to be an all natural complement for people that experience any kind of respiratory issue(allergies, asthma, COPD, sinus, flu, pneumonia, colds, etc).  Halo therapy will also help with skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.  Halo therapy will help with insomnia. I contacted the owner Sandy Hinderliter immediately and set up a session.

Upon arrival, Sandy showed me around a bit, including a great play area for children who have breathing related issues or are waiting for their parents to complete a session. We also spoke about how she had started Salt of the Earth Houston because she and her husband were looking for a way to more naturally treat his chronic bronchitis.  She knew that the number of times a year he was taking steroids and antibiotics was doing damage to his health.  There wasn't anything like this in the Houston area, and they wanted to not only help him but the other people experiencing respiratory distress.

The floor of salt room in the back where I had my session was covered in an inch or so of salt rocks, a
nd there were beach type lounge chairs to kick back in and relax. Sandy made sure my husband and I were comfortable and said she would be turning on the salt air. There was a censor at the top of one of the walls that would regulate the necessary amount of salt in the room, turning off or pumping more in as needed. The lights dimmed, some very soothing ocean sounds played over the sound system and soon enough the salt began flowing in. Although the salt mist was very fine and not irritating to the eyes or sinuses, soothing actually, I could see the clouds in the air and lightly taste the salt in my mouth. Laying back and closing my eyes, I could've imagined myself laying on Galveston beach, only without the annoyance of other people, birds, and traffic noise.

My 45 minutes went by much too quickly, and soon Sandy was back asking how we had liked the session. I told her it was crazy, but I had entered with a bit of a stuffy nose from mild allergies I was experiencing and already I was breathing and feeling much better. She laughed and told me that wasn't crazy at all. many clients feel relief from their respiratory issues quickly after breathing in the salt.  Although, for people with seasonal allergies they recommend 8-10 sessions prior to their allergy season to help alleviate the symptoms before they have a change to really cause discomfort, and for people with chronic issues like asthma, COPD and cystic fibrosis, they recommend 10-15 sessions to start and then they can monitor how they are feeling to determine how often they need to come in.  

In addition to the halotherapy, Sandy is also a certified Emotion Code Therapy practitioner, so I asked if she would be willing to let me experience that as well. She agreed and we went into a saltless room to begin. She asked if I had any issues I felt I'd like to work on and I said yes, I have chronic fatigue and am exceptionally tired all of the time. She got out a pendulum and pulled up a chart on her laptop with columns and lists of emotions. Using the pendulum, she would discover which emotions I had trapped inside my subconscious and at what age they had become trapped. I wasn't too sure what to think until she pinpointed that I had very specific emotions that I had obtained at 18 years old. My jaw dropped. She asked if that made sense to me and I replied that yes, wow, it did. When I was 18 I was kicked out of my grandparents house (they raised me since I was very young) over an argument with my grandfather, I met my biological mother and siblings, and discovered that my grandmother/adoptive mother had terminal cancer. The feelings and age she landed on were precise enough that I left a firm believer in what she was doing. Sandy rolled a magnet along my back to release those emotions inside me. She said it may take more than one session to completely rid myself of the symptoms I was dealing with, as the body doesn't like to more than it can handle all at once.

I am pleased to report that after my halo therapy and Emotion Code session I did feel much better with my breathing, sleeping, and emotionally. My hair also had that great beachy feel to it, quite soft. I highly recommend trying this out if you are suffering from any respiratory complications or insomnia. This treatment doesn't interact with medications.  The only thing people might experience as their body is expelling toxins is coughing, sneezing, runny nose and a slight detox feeling.  Those symptoms though should be minimal and will subside.  Also, the salt is a different type of salt that is introduced into the system through the airway and doesn't effect high blood pressure at all, so no worries there. If you want to try Salt of the Earth Houston for yourself, Sandy is offering 20% off your first session if you mention The Houston Bucket Lister! Thank you Sandy!

(this is a sponsored post. I was given a free session for my husband and myself in exchange for this post but all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own)