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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Getting out of town

Ok gang, I'm off for a fun-filled week with the family at the beach. I'll report back July 9. Until then, enjoy your July Fourth and I'll see you soon.

Friday, June 22, 2007

How much do you love Martina McBride?

Martina McBride is a difficult woman to get on the phone. I've been working through three publicity people for three months to make this happen and now, a week before my assignment is due, I still don't know if I'll get to chat with the country queen.

So, perhaps you or someone you know is a Martina McBride fan and your voice can be represented in my story. Maybe you have a friend who camped out in their sleeping bag on the steps of CenturyTel to get tickets. Well, no one has camped out for tickets since New Kids on the Block came to town, but you get my point.

If you know a fan or you are a fan, e-mail me at or call me at (318) 459-3260.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Facing my fear of public reading

In my college speech class we had to give three formal speeches over the course of the quarter. I hate public speaking, so naturally I put off the class until my next to last quarter at Louisiana Tech.

It was summer 2003, when I crowded into the tiny classroom in Robinson Hall. Apparently everyone else on campus thought they would get off easy that summer too. But looking at all the faces filling the classroom, it was obvious the plan backfired.

Our teacher would shuffle our outlines at the beginning of the class on speech days. The name on top was the first person to speak. Two out of three times that person was me, which only furthered my hate and fear of public speaking.

Today, as I sat in front of about 70 children, the same feeling came over me. Fortunately, my fears were eased by "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie." Not having to rely on my own words allowed me just sit back, read to the kids and show a few pictures before flipping each page.

The book was a good one to read. The kids laughed and seemed to follow along with the turn of each page. As the next guest reader was introduced as "a guy from TV," the kids' eyes lit up. I'm not sure, but maybe it had something to do with the fact he was reading "Green Eggs and Ham."

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bar golf leaves group short one club

After receiving a wake-up call from my dear friend Sammy, I thought, "What better way to kick off the morning than with a blog and a Starbucks Iced Mocha."
Sammy, you are right. "Sopranos" did end a week ago and it is time for a new blog entry. I haven't forgotten about you lovely people, nor have I been short of interesting content for your eyes. Just a little short on hours. But, let's move on to the good stuff.
Last week for the IN column, I wrote about a rowdy group of bar golfers. The drunk and disorderly group of married men, with the exception of one or two guys, was over the top. And while I can tolerate and even enjoy watching people act like this, the bartenders at Stray Cat didn't seem share in my amusement.

"Most of the time I feel like I'm babysitting," Scott, one of the bartenders, said. "Don't do that, stop doing this, get your beer out of the ceiling fan."
I can understand Scott's frustration. He's the sheriff. It's his job to maintain order and keep the fun at a level that is fun for everyone. However, at the end of the night, justice was served when the group of guys left the bar and left their putter. Which has since ended up in my hands and on my desk. It's half-trophy and half a reminder that drinkers should know their limits, and I'm holding it ransom.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ticked off at Tony

We're two days into the aftermath of HBO's groundbreaking series "Sopranos," and people are still up in arms over the show's ending.

I've never watched "Sopranos," but if my favorite show ended simply with the main character snacking on onion rings, I imagine I'd be ticked off too. Writers and the cast say the ending was "satisfying," but many viewers would disagree.

As the final scene showed Tony and his family eating onion rings in a New Jersey diner, the scene cut to black for 10 seconds and left many in fear that their cable had gone out. The only worse thing imaginable was that it hadn't. And many fans were left feeling the popular series ended unresolved.

Producer David Chase won't comment on the ending and and requested the shows other writers do the same in hopes that viewers will define their own ending, according to USA Today.

However, fans are quick to call foul play.

"I can understand people felling like Chase stuck a middle finger in the face of a lot of dedicated viewers," Rick Porter wrote on the entertainment Web site

Are any of you fans of the show and what did you think of its ending?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

So you think you can read?

I've been commissioned to read to a group of children at Borders in a little over a week. I've also been commissioned to select a book to read.

Now, reading to a bunch of staring 4 to 7 year olds is somewhat intimidating. And reading upside down so the children can see the pictures requires big words. Plus, to keep the attention of a small group of kids you've got to slap a little cheese on the story by using animated voices and whatnot, which presents another challenge.

I'll survive and I'm sure I'll cheese it up for the kiddies, however I'm not sure what to read. I don't have kids, I don't really know many kids and I'm completely detached from what youngsters are into these days. So, this is where you kind people come in to play. I need suggestions of some quick, easy, kid-approved stories.

Now the only question remaining is who's going to be the O.G. Readmore to save the day?

Monday, June 04, 2007

We can all learn something from Brandon

What I love most about this job is that occasionally you get to meet some pretty amazing people. I recently met Brandon Young, a bright 22 year old whose past 8 months have been turbulent to say the least.

Brandon was a member of The Terms and suffered a severe brain injury in a car accident in September. I spent a couple hours with Brandon and was given the opportunity to tell his story in Sunday's paper.

In talking to Brandon, his mom Angela and those who know him well, I was overcome by Brandon's determination to recover and his positive attitude during some rough spots.

On Sunday, I received an e-mail from drummer Scott Lassaigne's dad, Jacques. I found it very touching and a wonderful way to continue telling Brandon's story.


What a wonderful day.
It is amazing how things work out sometimes.

We knew your article on Brandon was coming out on a Sunday, just did not know which Sunday.
Well, we found out a week ago that Ben Labat (lead singer for The TERMS) was going to fly to South Louisiana, to pack up some stuff, pick up his vehicle, and drive back to New York today. His trip back to New York included a side trip to Shreveport to visit with everyone.

Everyone's schedule worked out and ALL the members of The TERMS made it to Brandon's house today for a great visit. They all looked wonderful - and it is interesting to see all of them with SHORT hair cuts!! And Brandon, realizing the importance of today, willed himself this morning to walk WITHOUT a cane starting today! He made sure to tell all the band members of his decision. It was a heart-warming sight.

And with your superb article coming out today it put the icing on the cake.

Thanks for the wonderful article again.
Till later,