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Friday, September 29, 2006

Don't miss '80s favorites

To my heart's delight, Def Leppard and Journey will make a stop at the CenturyTel in Bossier City on Nov. 15.

I've heard several '80s cover bands perform hits by both groups and do it well. Typically, at the end of those nights my friends and I are screaming to hear more Journey. Looks like our wish will finally be granted -- this time with the real deal.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I squeal for eel

I love sushi. But when my friend suggested I try a bite of his fresh water eel roll I felt things had gone too far. How had it gotten to this point? It all started with crab and salmon then escalated to raw tuna and now eel.

As I sat there eyeing the dish, one image kept popping into my head -- Floatsam and Jetsam. Who are they, you may ask? An image of my childhood, Ursula's two eel sidekicks in "The Little Mermaid" -- one of three Disney movies I can still quote every line and song to. I'd just given the sushi a name and an animated face, how could I eat it now? I suppose that's a kinder visual than having the image of an actual, nonanimated eel swimming through my head.

I found comfort in two things:
  1. The eel is not raw. It's broiled, which allows me to trick myself into thinking I'm actually eating Mahi Mahi with a bit of cucumber and avocado. The roll also is topped with a brown sugar and soy sauce that gives it a hint of sweetness.
  2. My friend was eating the roll and not gagging.

I sat there with the eel in my chopsticks for what seemed like an eternity. Smelling it, eyeing it, debating what would happen if I yacked in the middle of Shogun. Then it happened, I ate the roll and didn't yack. In fact, it was really good. Eel is delicious? How could this be? Surely, as much as Ursula enjoyed shrimp cocktail if she had known how yummy her two friends were they wouldn't have made it past the first scene.

Since trying the eel, I've felt it my duty to spread the gospel of eel. I've ordered the roll and forced three of my friends to try it and all, after the sharing my initial reaction, loved it. So, I challenge you, embrace something new and try the eel. It's much better than it sounds or looks in the images floating around in your head.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Let the games begin

My favorite episode of "Seinfeld" is when Kramer and Newman are playing Risk -- the game of world domination. The pair get so power hungry in their plot to overthrow one another that Kramer refuses to leave the unfinished game board at Newman's and takes it with him.

I've never been competitive to that degree, but I've been involved in some heated board-game battles of my own. In college, my friends and I would play Cranium. The game forces players to sing, spell, act, sculpt and answer trivia questions. However, I inevitably ended up on a team with the one person who couldn't sing, spell, act, sculpt or answer trivia questions. If I had to hum "You Are My Sunshine," my partner still wouldn't come through with a correct guess, no matter how big my eyes got or how vigorously I waved my hands in the air as in to say, "Come on! You know this one!" Let's just say I learned to be a graceful loser.

Now, my friends and I get together regularly to play Trivial Pursuit '90s edition. Most of the time we play individually instead of pairing up on teams. The flaw of the every-man-for-himself setup is it leaves me with no one to blame when I get a question wrong -- which is often. Although no one in my group shows any actual skill, the game is no less heated. If someone earns a pie piece it's a rule to rub everyone else's face in it. We show even less mercy when someone gets an obvious question wrong.

Staying in with friends and playing a game is a nice alternative to going out and USA Weekend agrees. Here are some of their tips for hosting a stellar game night:

  1. Consider the crowd. For singles, pick a game that will encourage interaction and a little flirting. For couples, pick games that allow them to team up.
  2. Decide how many to invite. Five or six should be a good crowd.
  3. Pick up a variety of games based on difficulty.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Emmy nominee talks about Louisiana

Clifton Collins Jr. proves you can be down to earth in Hollywood. Collins was recently nominated for an Emmy for best supporting actor for his role in "Thief," which filmed in Shreveport.

In a Rockworks video, Collins talks affectionately about his time in Louisiana before and after Hurricane Katrina. Collins also mentions his time in Shreveport and how many of his crew members were evacuees.

Check out the video.

Tee time at the bar

There's one thing I've never fully understood about the bar atmosphere. In the typical bar, this thing can be found tucked away in a corner and swarmed by a crowd. The crowd is usually oblivious to all other noises and events within the room because they are so captivated by this one small thing.

Most guys reading this have already figured out what I'm talking about, but if you haven't I'll give you three hints.
  1. It involves a small, white rollie ball.
  2. It's lifeline exists through a wall plug.
  3. You look like an absolute fool anytime it's your turn.

By now you've probably guessed I'm talking about Golden Tee. Let me start by saying I'm a huge golf fan. Love it. Try to play whenever I can. Now, I may be lashed for this, but I have to say, what's the big deal with this game? Sure, you can take in 18 holes in about 30 minutes, and for most of us who typically hack it around in real life you can finally break 100 on your scorecard.

If you can separate yourself from this game, maybe you'll realize it's more fun to watch others play. Everyone has a strategy, a lucky course, a particular way to roll the ball to maximize distance. To onlookers beware when a birdie drops in the cup, the cheers are as robust as those heard at Augusta National.

After being roped into this game, I'm content to keep my spot in the gallery.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Crime of fashion

As long as there has been fashion, there have been violations against the what to wear standards.
Off the top of my head, I can think of 10 no-nos just involving socks. White socks with dress slacks, socks with sandals, ankle socks with pants. I could keep going but I think you see what I mean.
But can you imagine being issued a citation for a crime against fashion?
Consider having to appear in court for wearing white pants after Labor Day or having a police officer write you a ticket for sporting pants that were just a bit too short.
It sounds ridiculous, right?
Well, pull up your baggy pants Dallas, because one school board member is fed up with the sight of Fruit of the Looms and Spongebob boxers peek-a-booing from waistlines.
Ron Prince took his complaint before the City Council saying he thinks "it's disrespectful, it's dishonorable and it's disgusting."
I don't want to see the dungaroos anymore than Prince, but should police attention really be diverted to fashion instead of crime?
In a society where homicide rates increase each year, it seems we've got bigger fish to fry than baggy britches.