Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Quinceanera X3 Photo Exhibition

The site for the exhibit.

It was a birthday party but it featured our Photo Exhibition. We took 20 framed photographs and they were well received. We have tried not to repeat any of the images we have framed therefore really making them originalz. We do carry the small prints just in case someone wants to order one of the ones we have done but for the most part they look at what we have in inventory at the time and buy from there.

This one was an outside show and I must admit the frames looked really nice under the daylight. Only four frames sold but two of them were big frames so it was worth our while.

Setting up the display area.

Now that I've done five shows I think I know what works and what doesn't and it's time to start applying all that learning experience into future shows. So far I am having fun doing this, it is rewarding to see our frames hanging on our friends and relatives homes but it's time to take this to the next level and maybe start attending church fairs and arts and crafts shows. That is going to be my next goal. I'll keep you posted.

And in the images above you can see how the whole thing looked once it was set up. I was very pleased with the way it came out and we did get very good reviews again.


Monday, September 28, 2009

The Quinceañera X3

So we left for La Puente, California on Friday at around 5:00 pm and by 11:30 we were sitting at Rambo's enjoying some very delicious tacos. It's cooling down some in Phoenix and the humidity which is common for this time of year has not shown up yet, yey! So I was expecting the same for California. Actually it's usually cool at night but when we got there it was still hot. I slept on the couch with a fan pointing my way and the ceiling fan going as fast as it could.

The next morning we were greeted with hot temperatures and high humidity. The shower actually felt like a sauna, I had taken a white shirt for the party but when I tried it on I started sweating big time, I don't know what material it is made of but it wouldn't breath so I had to change it and wore a black polo type shirt that actually felt a lot better. We Phoenicians can endure extreme heat but for us it is a dry heat. The humidity there is more than I can take, I love visiting but I wouldn't want to live there.

The party went on as planned, there was a good turnout but apparently freeway closures due to a big accident may have prevented for more guests to show up. If that was not the case then they missed a good party and a great time.

We had some great tasting birria with rice "frijoles puercos" and an array of different salsas, I am sorry to say but I had to have doubles. The food was super tasty. To wash it all down some water, sodas, beer, wine, and tequila, and believe I tried it all, but no, I didn't get drunk, I spaced them out throughout the whole afternoon to where I actually enjoyed each drink.

The dancing and entertainment came via ourselves as we started the karaoke machine and we sang mostly all night.

A peaceful moment for reflection was provided by Father Adolfo as he blessed Chely, blessed the moment, and pray for all of us.

We had so much fun, ate great food, had some liquor, sang some songs, and basically just enjoyed a good party. At the end of the day, the birthday girl the quinceañera X3 was happy with the outcome and that's all that mattered.

Here is the Quinceañera X3


Friday, September 25, 2009

Nikki Graduates

This is the historic Orpheum Theater in Downtown Phoenix.

What started four years ago finally culminated today. Yes my little girl got her Bachelor of Arts, Graphic Design degree from The Art Institute of Phoenix.

A grand Graduation Ceremony was held at the historic Orpheum Theatre in Downtown Phoenix on Thursday September 24, 2009.

The four years Nikki spent at Ai were long and hard. I saw her losing her sanity more than once due to deadlines and cash problems but with the support of her husband and family and her perseverance she finally did it. They celebrated their commencement into the next stage of their training, it is time to start thinking how to make that education pay off big dividends, not to mention loans that will need to start being paid very soon.

The marquee says it all.

I'll be honest, graduations are emotional, and important, but they are boring, I am seriously thinking that my daughter Michelle can offer her party planning services for future graduations. Maybe a little music, key note speaker, music, presentations, music and singing, diploma presentations, surprise celebrity guest, more music, some more singing, and why not let's throw in some dancing too, and since they have a culinary department have them serve hors d'œuvres... just sayin'

*Note to self: Not too bad of an idea! Joe Cool, you are a genius.

I think after they called Nikki's name the second most exciting thing was when some fool --(Whom shall remain nameless... Loyito) blew an air horn in my ear and made me jump from my seat.

The required photo session started promptly after the ceremony, we took pictures with Nikki for about half an hour and then the kids decided to go celebrate with pizza.

I am really proud of my little girl and we are already talking her into not stopping there and go beyond the Bachelors and pursue the next step in her education. Unfortunately it's sort of a never ending game but the future belongs to those that prepare themselves.

In my case with my limited schooling I reached my limit a long time ago, and regardless of how much I know and or how valuable I am the corporate world will not give us a chance to advance. Education is key and the only way to be successful. Trust me I'm in management and I know.

And now, please enjoy the following images from another milestone event in our lives.

Mi chica, our graduate, and I.

Michelle, Nikki, and Juan.

Photo op with the guys.

And then with the gals.

And lastly with her son, whom was more interested in making ugly faces for the camera.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Finally, after a long month of inactivity and funds shortage we finally were able to raise the frame count to 21 pieces and we are now ready to travel this coming weekend to the beautiful City of La Puente, California where we will join my younger sister in her birthday celebration which as per her request will feature a melo-duckworth originalz exhibition and sale.

I really do have high hopes for this one but then again I always do for all exhibitions. It will be interesting and fun to mix it up a bit, being featured in a birthday celebrations has it's pros and cons. The worst thing that can happen is that I don't sell anything which to this day has not happened yet but on the other side of the coin we don't lose anything since we'll be having fun at the party anyway.

I think my sister's idea of featuring us at her birthday party was a good one and I guess we'll soon find out if the idea is going to pan out or not.

Wish us luck.

Mi little sister and I.
Image courtesy of Duckworth Photography


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Party Extras

I would like to share these two images with all of you. It's not often that both families are together. On mi chica's side only one brother couldn't make the trip to Arizona and is missing in the picture.

Mi chica and her family minus one brother that could not attend the fiesta.

And this is Mi Familia.

I have a true belief that family should always come first, without a family we are nothing. Even when sometimes things don't go as they should there are always occasions that will reunite most if not all family members. I was blessed to have everyone that mattered celebrating with me last Saturday.


While on the subject of family my little sister will have a birthday too. She has dubbed her celebration "Quinceañera X3".

The background on this invitation is Chely's actual "Quincea ñera" dress" More on this on a future post.

I'll be leaving for La Puente California yet one more time. My third road trip in two months. I am excited to attend her party. She chose to host a melo-duckworth originalz photo exhibition in conjunction with her party so I am definitely double excited.

To see the detail please click on images to enlarge.

Images courtesy of: Michelle Duckworth of Duckworth Photography
Invitation art by: Nikki Duckworth


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

And Then They Danced For Me

Ha, ha, ha bunch of liars, you keep telling me that the suspense is killing you, well I am here to wrap it all up. So far it's all been fun, and we haven't even started dancing yet. Some of my friends had to leave early and they were starting to say good bye when mi chica stopped them and asked them to sit down just for a few more minutes.

Next thing I know my microphone shy chica is holding a microphone and talking to the guests. She told us that all the girls in my life (at least they represented all of them) had prepared a dance for me and they were about to perform it. She proceeded to let us know that my two daughters, two of my grand daughters, my goddaughter, three of my sisters, my sister in law, and my daughter in law, along with my nieces were going to perform their original version of "El Jarabe Zapatio". (Yeah, she even changed the name of the song).

I had no idea they had planned this for me and I was overwhelmed with emotion. I was told they practiced maybe once back in June and then again before they actually performed it. My goddaughter wasn't even part of the group but she learned it in just a few minutes.

I was surprised to see that the Mexican motif carried even in the way they were all dressed. They all looked so pretty as "The Adelitas" with their rebozos. I caught a glimpse of mi chica dancing along with all of them from the side lines like a proud mama.

After that awesome performance we started to dance and kept dancing until past midnight. For the first time in a long time we were not asked to turn things off by the cops. We ended the fiesta when we wanted and not when the neighbors wanted.

I don't normally drink and yet I got five or six bottles of tequila. We opened two of them and we started drinking shots. I kept up with everyone else and yet didn't even feel buzzed. Oh, I was drunk alright but I felt fine all the time. The same could not be said for some of my drinking partners. (can you say barf) All I can say is... lightweights. lol -- My hangover consisted of a mild headache which was immediately taken care of by two aspirins.

Well, that pretty much sums up the fiesta. It was extremely well planned and executed, the guests had fun, my family had fun, but most importantly I had a blast. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful wife... errr chica that loves me enough to put herself through months of stress just to carry this through.

Thanks to all that participated and celebrated with me this milestone in my life.

All images on this post courtesy of Michelle Duckworth Photograhy.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Charro Came and Sang For Us...

Not one, not two, not three but four cakes. How awesome was that?

So, the guests started coming in and it didn't take long until we had a pretty full backyard. My biker buddies, Mustang fellow club members, karaoke friends, work mates, and of course my huge family.

There was still plenty of daylight, mi chica asked everyone to please take a seat, I was still taking pictures when she said, "To you I order you to take a seat". I knew then she had some sort of a surprise. The music started playing a little louder than before, it was a popular Mexican song and I was about to start singing on my own when this mariachi looking señor comes out from inside the house microphone in hand and singing a the top of his lungs.

This guy was great, good singing backed up by good comedy. Gabriel Garcia is his name and besides singing he also teaches music. He gives guitar lessons, singing lessons, art lessons, and acting lessons. (480) 522-9515 and (480) 329-1035 or email at principecharro07@yahoo.com

Wow, mi chica had hired an entertainer to sing to us while we ate. LOL Except the food people were an hour late which thanks to the singer was not too bad a wait. Besides the food was worth the wait as the tacos were sooooooo tasty. It has become very popular among us Mexicanos to hire a caterer that prepares what we call a "taquisa". The plate consisted of tacos with three different choices of meat, salsa bar, rice and beans, ummmmm, ummmmmm, ummmmmm, tacos, you can't ever go wrong if you serve tacos at a party.

The tacos were so good the line was solid for well over an hour. Many came back for seconds, and so did I.

The entertainer had been hired for two hours but he stayed an additional hour courtesy of my brother in law and my sister. This guy not only sang nice but he also kept us laughing with a plethora of jokes. And additional surprise and definite crowd please was when his son whom I estimate was about seven or eight years old came out also dressed in his charro outfit and sang two songs to every ones delight.

El Charrito sang so good that he got the biggest ovation.

Even I had a turn at the mic as he graciously offer it to anyone who wanted to sing. So my sister and I sang a song but she claimed I kept singing in her tone. Hey I never claimed to be a professional. lol

My sister and I doing a duet.

As far as the food go, there was plenty of it. Normally food runs out within the two allotted hours for dinner, mi chica made sure and ordered enough to ensure that everyone was fed, heck most of us went for seconds and still the food didn't run out. Way to go baby!

The taco line kept forming for almost two hours, poor taco guy, he probably needed a brake but that was not about to happen. All of a sudden I saw mi chica take center stage holding a mic, she asked for our attention and pretty much came out with yet another surprise...

But that story will have to wait for the next post.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Fiesta

What an elaborate set up, there were plenty of tables for all the guests.
Notice the black clouds in the sky. Looked like rain.

And finally the day of the party came. Our California relatives got here on Friday night and Saturday morning. Everything was ready but to me everything was still a mystery, all I knew was there was a party about to happen but I had no idea of what mi chica had in store fore me.

I spent most of my morning in anticipation of what was to come, to kindda take my mind off things I run some errands in the morning, my black slacks were no where to be found so I had to go and find me a new pair, also buying some more beer and fresh flowers was in my to do list. Once that was accomplished I went back home and took a little nap, I found out earlier in life that naps are great time killers.

At around 5:00 pm mi chica and I headed out to my sister's house where the party would take place. Driving into Phoenix I noticed that the sky threatened to spoil things a bit, dark clouds had move in and we thought for sure a monsoon would visit.

Upon getting there they started putting the table decorations which had a plethora of Mexican related articles such as a Mexican hat, a Mexican soda, Mexican candy, and some Mexican toys. The flower vases were made out of "Salsa del Pato" hot sauce cans, and there was a tin luminary on each table. I am sure I mentioned before the party had a Mexican motif.

There definitely was a feeling that a Mexican Fiesta was about to happen. Just look at all those table decorations.

It took a good forty minutes to set all the table arrangements, everything look so good and pretty and then all of a sudden a gust of wind came and in 30 seconds undid every thing they had made so far, yes Mother Nature wanted to crash my party and it did.

Obviously I started taking pictures and capturing images as soon as I got there. The weather was a little on the hot side but it was bearable, normally our California guests complain a lot but I don't think I heard even one complain. Actually once the sun went down and the threat of a monsoon passed, we were getting this rather nice wind gusts that felt so good.

Ah, for those of you that still haven't met mi chica please allow me to introduce her to you. She planned this moment for the past six months along with my daughter. Yes I am lucky and I know it.

Exactly at 5:30 pm guests started showing up, and little by little a once empty backyard started getting full. The DJ got there early and immediately set his equipment up, the soft welcoming music started playing, yes we had all the makings of a fun party.

The DJ set up pretty early and started jammin' even before the guests had arrived.

But what happened next I leave for another post.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fortune Cookie

On the eve of the big 5-0

My Chinese fortune cookie read:

Unexpected romantic and financial
gifts surprise and delight you!

I say, bring it on.


And here is another present I just received, my dear friend Chris was just in time to post it as soon as I turned 50.


Thank you Chris for this past two years of good friendship. And hoping for more. Also thanks for the birthday shout out.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's Getting Closer

So here is my question, are students back to school in full force or are people back to work? For the past two weeks I have been catching traffic on the freeway that I had not seen almost all year long. This morning it was bumper to bumper traffic. At least the weather has changed so nicely that a top down was all I needed to enjoy the commute to work, traffic and all.

The countdown continues, two more days for my birthday, yey. Did I mention that the cake's flavor will be French Vanilla, ummmm que rico! Once again Linda will be baking it, I am not a cake eater but Linda's cakes are the best. I told you I would pass on the information as it was leaked. lol

There will be a DJ, unfortunately it won't be my brother as he's hectic scheduled did not allow him to DJ for me. It's sort of a bummer but what can you do. However mi chica is very resourceful and found one where she least expected it... at work.

I am really excited to be reaching the 5-0 mark. I try to think of me as a fine wine that only gets better with time. OK, if I don't tell that to myself who will right?

OK, until I am a little hungry so I am going to heat up one of my burritos so I can have breakfast. Until the next time.

My dear friend Wanda captured this image a couple of years back and published it in her blog. Eventually she water painted her own rendition of it.

This week the mailman brought this envelope and it contained an original print of this very image signed by her as my birthday present. Pretty soon I will post of picture of that but first it must be framed.

This has been one of my favorites ever since.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Anticipation Mounts

The day is getting closer, comes Friday the 18th I'll be 50 years old and the buzz around this place is that a big fiesta is going to be taking place. It's obvious that something this big could not be kept a secret so I've known about it for quite a while as mi chica and my daughter have been planning this for quited a while now. However some of the details have been leaked and I am letting you in the secret.

The fiesta will definitely have a Mexican motif. The invitations were pretty cute and mimicked a Mexican serape. The beer and sodas are of the Mexican kind, heck I'm even having pinatas. But knowing mi chica and my family there is probably so much more going on that they are definitely not telling this old soul. Well I know some of it had to be kept secret.

Since the fiesta will take place in the backyard at my sister's house in Phoenix, we are praying and hoping for a break in the weather. Yes, it's still hot here believe it or not.

I am sure that I will be blogging about it for a few days after it all happens, I get the feeling that there will be plenty to blog about.

My co-workers, my fellow car club members, my biker friends, my karaoke family, even some of my blogger friends were invited, not too mention the one or two hundred family members that will most likely be here.

That I remember I have only had one birthday celebration fiesta about three years ago but I know it pales in comparison to this one. To say I am excited is an understatement, after all the big 5-0 is indeed a milestone in anybodies life. I am ready to get there and to embrace it, I have never been afraid of getting old, in my case I am thankful that God is allowing me to continue getting old.

But what is old, really? I am still in good shape, I am not on meds yet, and I pretty much still do the things I like to do without a problem. Yep, as far as I'm concerned and like the song says, God is good, life is great, and people are crazy but that's what makes the world spin. Me... not old by a long shot.

Stay tuned for more as it is revealed to me. Also I want to thank my dear friend Wanda of Brushstrokes from the heart for the awesome present she sent me for my birthday, she know how much I cherish her original artwork and the original print she sent me will take a nice chunk of space in one of my walls pretty soon. More on this to come as well, stay tuned.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Movie Night

I should have a peaceful quiet weekend, the younger crowd in this family is camping and mi chica has to go to work which means I should catch up on some of my chores, run some errands, and go exchange a couple of items at the store. The car needs washing and so do our house windows but I don't know if I'll get to those.

I'm watching "The Circuit", a cheese karate movie with Olivier Gruner, no plot other than the underground illegal fights where the hero always save the day at the end. Yeah, for stupid plots with lots of action and fighting sequences. Wax on, wax off, wax... oh excuse me wrong movie.

I am now into the second feature. "Exit Speed", another cheese action type movie. The info. info. read as follows: Ten bus passengers become stranded and must fight off murderous bikers from inside a scrap yard. At first I thought it would be the outlaw kindda bikers but this movie turned out to be young bikers on rice burners doing tricks and killing for no reason at all. Lea Thompson is on this one.

Sometimes it's just fun to watch B movies, stupid as they may be sometimes they are fun.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

September 11


The Squirrel in Disguise

OK, my daughter and her family went camping last week, on their way to the camping site they saw what she calls a gray and white squirrel. Below is the image she captured of it.

Of course I argued that it didn't look like a squirrel but she defended her position on the issue and said it was. So, with all the technology at my finger tips I decided to get to the bottom of this and cropped the image then enhanced the colors, and in the end I was right, it was not a squirrel, here is the end result of my investigation.

I'm enjoying the short workweek, can you believe tomorrow is Friday again. It's still hot here in Phoenix but I think the weather is trying to change, it won't be until next month that we will finally start seeing two digit temperatures but to us even a 102 degree day is a good day.

Mi chica has been planing this big birthday fiesta for me (more on that later in the week). It's scheduled for Saturday the 19th, I hope the weather will give us a break that day since it's going to be in the backyard at my sister's house.

Well, today my mom hooked me up with some home made burritos and our HR person just notified me that she'll be bringing pasta and bread stick. Umm yummy! I'm hungry already just thinking about it.

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