Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Magic Island Slated to Re-Open




The iconic “Magic Island” restaurant and live theater venue which first opened in the 1980s has been shuttered since 2008. However, all my magic buddies in Houston, and around the world really, are excited to hear that plans are underway (though slightly behind schedule now) to reopen the 10,000 square foot entertainment venue.

It would be difficult to count the number of times I've been to Magic Island. I used to go at least once every other week, usually every week. New acts were brought in twice a month and I made sure to go see every act that came through. Sometimes acts could only stay for a 1-week run and I'd go more often. Sometimes acts were so good that it was worth seeing them more than once.

I remember the food being good, but not great. However, the entertainment was well worth it all. Not only do you get the stage show that features world-class acts that you might otherwise never get to see outside of Las Vegas (where the tickets would cost 3X what dinner at Magic Island will run you).

On top of that, you get to see some amazing close-up magic. We magicians categorize the type of magic we do and “close-up” means exactly what it sounds like. It's magic that happens not on a stage, or in a large box, but rather, right in front of your eyes, and some times LITERALLY in your own hands. Cards, coins, tiny colored balls just larger than a marble, scraps of paper, and pieces of rope or string are transformed into the makings of miracles.

Keep your eyes and ears open for more information about the imminent re-opening date and then make plans to visit. You won't be disappointed.

Here's a link to a news article about Magic Island Houston Reopening.





Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Resolution Traditions in Our Family


I'm not overly fond of the usual “New Years Resolutions” process. The whole thing has become sort of a caricature of itself. The idea has spawned far more jokes than it has success stories, in part because it is based on poorly constructed ideas about goal setting that are implemented in poorly constructed ways by people who are not always particularly motivated to actually pursue or accomplish the goals/resolutions.

But, aside from the faults of making a half-hearted promise on January 1st to stick to a year-long commitment, I am still a big believer in goal-setting, and I think that New Year's is a great time to sit down and get serious about it; so much so that in our house, it has become something of a family tradition.

Usually it doesn't happen EXACTLY on January 1st, but it almost always happens within the first week of the new year. We discuss basic goals, and help each other refine them a bit, all in preparation of the “ritual” we have. You see, by that time the Christmas tree has gotten to the point that it's time for us to get rid of it. But rather than have the waste management company throw it into the landfill, we chop it up and burn it in a little camp fire in our back yard.

This “Burning of the Yule Log,” as we call it, is when we sit around and tell each other about our finalized goals for the new year. We can share as many or as few as we want, but everyone at the campfire (friends, neighbors, and distant cousins included) is strongly encouraged to share at least one, so that we develop some accountability. Usually there are financial goals, fitness goals, organizational goals, relationship goals, travel goals, and all sorts of goals that are more difficult to categorize.

One of mine, for example is to be more consistent with creating social media content including blog entries like this one, videos for my YouTube channel, and actually spending LESS time on my personal Facebook page and MORE time on my professional FB page.

Side note: The last book I wrote was finished the year before I got on FB. I don't think it's coincidence that I haven't finished a book since I started posting on FB! I've told my wife many times: If I'm ever going to write another book, I'm going to either have to get more disciplined about FB or shut it down.