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Thursday, August 30, 2007

'Superbad' is super good

I've seen more movies this past week than I've probably seen all summer. Last Monday, I saw "Becoming Jane" and Saturday afternoon I saw "Superbad."

"Jane" is an obvious chick flick and "Superbad" is one of those overly popular silly guy movies. Every female I know who was unwillingly taken to "Superbad" by her boyfriend or husband said it was the tackiest, crudest, most idiotic movie they'd seen. So why did I love this movie so much? Maybe it was the shock value that had my eyes welling up with tears of laughter. Or maybe it was just McLovin. Either way, I loved this movie.

As a devoted follower of the chick flick genre, I thought "Becoming Jane" would hit a home run with me. A love story about a writer. Come on it's the perfect girlie movie for a single newspaper reporter!

SPOILER ALERT: Rather than leaving with that warm fuzzy feeling where everything works out, I left seriously down in the dumps. With everyone a little disappointed by the movie's ending, my friend's mom said, "Anyone up for watching 'Old Yeller?'"

Jane finds love but can never have it. She never marries and ends up writing six of the most highly regarded novels still today. On the ride home, I couldn't help but thinking that some of the greatest women writers were some of the saddest people too. Virginia Woolf put rocks in her pockets to drown herself. Sylvia Plath stuck her head in an oven. Jane Austen lived the life of an old maid.

Not that I could ever compare to these women, but I'm considering a career in accounting.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The downfalls of celebrity

My heart goes out to Owen Wilson. The film star reportedly attempted suicide Sunday. It's hard to imagine what the headlines could have read.

This past year celebs have exhibited some ridiculous behavior. Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, but not Owen Wilson. Every time he's on the red carpet he shines. He's the non-Hollywood superstar. He never seems egotistical. He's always mellow. He's at the top of his career. He always looks like he's having fun.

To me, Wilson's suicide attempt shows the darker side of being a celebrity. Fame is the one thing everyone wants, but many struggle to handle it. Imagine if you walked out of your house tomorrow and people followed your every move. Imagine if a camera caught you looking tired at the end of the day and the next morning every entertainment source said you were in a troubled relationship. Imagine if you couldn't take your trash out or walk out to your car without being photographed and laughed at in magazines.

Of course there are benefits to celebrity. The most prominent being money. But if Owen Wilson shows us anything it's that money doesn't necessarily make you happy.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Simpsonize me

Does this gal look familiar?

Oh yeah, that's me in "Simpson" form. I haven't watched "The Simpsons" since 8th grade when I slowly began to gain control of the TV remote from my older brother, Chris. Prior to that time, it was all "G.I. Joe," "Transformers" and "He-Man." I don't think I ever watched a complete episode of "Saved by the Bell" until Chris was forced to stay late after school for golf practice. Even if you aren't a fan of the show, you can't help but wonder what you'd look like if the show's creators chose to draw you.
I thought my character was funny and somewhat accurate. When I dropped it into our photo system at the paper, three co-workers saw it and e-mailed me to ask if I'd Simpsonized myself. However, my friend Kate had a good observation. "Stephanie, you'd never wear a shirt that low cut." True Kate, very true. Simpson Stephanie is apparently scandalous!
Well, I'm off to Moe's Tavern.
Simpsonize yourself:

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Rilo Kiley offers best album so far this year

This year has produced a lot of good albums by some of my favorite musicians. "Easy Tiger" by Ryan Adams and "Icky Thump" by the White Stripes to name a few. But today Rilo Kiley released "Under The Blacklight," which could be the most enjoyable album I've heard all year.

The Los Angeles band doesn't get much mainstream exposure, however they've spent time charming the late night television crowds. They've worked with other groups like Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service. They're songs have been heard during episodes of "Grey's Anatomy" and "Weeds." But even considering all that, "Under the Blacklight" will be the main thing to bring Rilo Kiley out of the dark.

Another interesting fact is members Jenny Lewis and Blake Sennett are former child actors. Lewis starred in "Troop Beverly Hills" (one of my favorites) and Sennett was cast in TV series "Salute Your Shorts" and "Boy Meets World."
I will be traveling to Dallas on Oct. 6 to shell out $20 and see this band.

Monday, August 20, 2007

A swimmingly good time

Weather permitting, my stepmom and I try to spend our Sunday afternoons lounging by the pool. The weather was beautiful yesterday and considering our mild break from the extreme heat, we decided it would be a perfect pool day.

We followed our normal routine: lay out towels, order a frozen beverage, grab a noodle and float. As we drifted around the pool we reached the deep end where five young girls splashed in the water and giggled as they played a favorite swimming pool game from my childhood.

Four of the girls line up on one side of the pool, while a lone gal is "it" and must sit on the opposite side of the pool. A category, such as "soft drinks," is chosen and the girls huddle up and each choose the name of a soft drink. The solo girl on the other side of the pool must guess soft drinks until she guesses one of the drinks. When a correct guess is made they race across the pool and the last one to reach the opposite side is "it."

The category was named -- food -- and the girls huddled to choose their items. The guesser was probably the youngest of the group and "food" is a rather broad category.

Her first guess nearly made me laugh off my noodle.

"Flank steak."

I thought about asking her parents if I could come over for dinner. She continued her guesses. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, butter, cheese, meatloaf, basil, tuna steak and cheese sticks more than four times. Her older sister offered a hint.

"What's Dad's favorite food? He eats it at Tokyo every Friday. You don't go to the grill part. You go to the other side to eat ..."


All the girls cracked up, and I couldn't help but miss being a kid.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I hear you loud and clear

There are two things that can always be found in my purse - A notebook and a tape recorder. When I'm out with my friends they always ask me one of two questions.
  1. "Can we do an interview? Come on, just for fun!"
  2. "Are you going to put this in the paper?"

I may be a reporter, but I don't go out just to get a story. My friends who work in real estate don't come to the bar in an attempt to sell me a house. I understand there is a little difference because going out is what I write about. But if my friend acts a fool at Stray Cat it's not like I'm going to take a picture and put it in my column. Complete strangers ... maybe!

But nonetheless having my tape recorder and notepad is a must.

So the other day I was interviewing four girls at Jacquelyn's. I'd pulled out my tape recorder to ask some questions when I saw a friend across the room. I excused myself from the table and walked over to say hello. I talked to my friend briefly and returned to the table to continue the interview. I suppose the girls forgot my tape recorder was on the table and the tape was running because when I reviewed the tape I caught them talking about me!

I won't give the juicy details about what they said (mostly to preserve my self worth), but I was shocked to say the least. And so were the girls! After a few minutes of talking about me, one of the girls realizes my recorder is running and she gasps. Her gasp is followed by a loud thud. I'm assuming she showed the recorder to her friends because the thud was followed by whispering.

Lesson to all, you never know who is listening.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Live music back in the Red River District

I've seen the Molly Ringwalds perform here three times in the past year. The first concert was amazing. I thought they were the best cover band I'd ever seen. I knew nearly every word to every song. My friends and I danced until we could hardly breathe. We were completely lost in the music and fun the Molly Ringwalds create. And when the band played U2, they solidified a spot in my heart.

But the next two concerts I considered mediocre. It's always a good show and nothing beats the music, but the band only played at Saddle Ridge/Sidekicks - a night spot that didn't really appeal to me.
Tomorrow night the band will return to the area to play in the Red River District. The concert starts at 9:30 p.m. and admission is $12 or $10 if you dress in '80s clothing. The music will be good, and I think the venue is perfect even though we're experiencing the hottest month so far this year. The Red River District could be such a fun spot. It's perfect for live music and there is a stage that goes unused most weekends.
When the district first opened, there was a huge kickoff celebration and Better Than Ezra performed. The place was packed because the district was new, but I also believe the music helped draw a crowd. Wouldn't it be amazing to see this many people in the Red River District again?
I don't know how Thursday's concert will turn out, but I'm hopeful that a crowd will pack the Red River District and prove it to be a unique spot for live entertainment in our area.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Jon Reep returns to Shreveport

For the most part, I'm completely sick of redneck humor.

Bill Engvall's new sitcom is airing on TBS. The Blue Collar Comedy Tour seems to release a new DVD every three months. Larry the Cable Guy is "gitten-r-dun" in movies and comedy tours nationwide. The comedy world is being taken over by flannel cut-off shirts, trucker hats and catch phrases like "Git-R-Dun" and "Here's Your Sign!"

But there's one guy who manages to keep himself separated from the flock of country comedians. I saw Jon Reep perform at the end of last year at the Funny Bone and my side was hurting by the end of the night. Known to most as "The Hemi Guy," Reep talks of life growing up in Hickory, N.C.

I met the comedian following his show at the Funny Bone, along with Real World/Road Rules cast member Theo Von. Reep was down-to-earth and a naturally funny guy off stage. Even though Reep was wearing a trucker hat and a flannel snap shirt, he's not your typical redneck humorist. When he tells his jokes you believe he's speaking from life experience, which makes his routine even better. Reep will return to the Funny Bone on Aug. 23-26 and his show is worth attending.
He posted this video on his Web site from Hickory's community college beauty pageant. He's not in the video, but it's a glowing example of his sense of humor.

Monday, August 13, 2007

It's getting hot in here

We're in the midst of summer's hottest days. You go to the pool to relax and instead you feel like a tea bag dropped into a pot of boiling water. You risk heat stroke to play golf, tend to the lawn or even just checking the mail.

I woke up this morning and my thermostat read 80 degrees. That's the indoor thermostat, which indicates a major problem. My friend Kate had mentioned last night that it seemed hot in the house. I blew it off. I mean, it's August in Louisiana. It's hot everywhere.

After Kate left, I went to bed and realized it was significantly warmer upstairs. Unbearable actually. Now, I complained last week about how hot it was at the Saints training camp, but this is a different kind of hot. It's muggy, stagnant heat that makes you wish you were outside.

The A/C man won't be able to fix our problem until tomorrow afternoon. So, tonight Baxter and I will bunk at my parents' house where the thermostat never reaches beyond 70 degrees.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Old habits die hard

When it comes to cell phone etiquette, I admit I often miss the mark. I don't answer incoming numbers I don't recognize, and I loathe checking my voicemail. Right now, my phone shows I have two voicemails in my inbox. I won't check those until I have about 8 more messages waiting.

I hate typing in security passwords just to hear messages like, "Hey Stephanie, it's _____. Call me back." My theory is if I already have a number stored, I'll see the missed call and return it -- no voicemail needed. And the theory hasn't failed me yet!

Most of my friends are aware of this bad habit. If they don't get me on the phone, they'll shoot me a text message, and I'm always quick to reply. But this bad habit came back to bite me, like most do.

I was at Willis-Knighton a few weeks ago, where my grandfather had just undergone surgery. My family and I had been sitting there for hours. I'd flipped through all the magazine pages I could stand before I resorted to checking my 10-plus voicemails. Waiting in the midst of outdated phone messages was something I wasn't expecting.

"Hello Stephanie, this is Lee Greenwood. ..."

I'd been trying to schedule an interview with Greenwood for weeks. I'd never been notified of a time for the interview and I didn't answer because I didn't know the number. In fact, I didn't even know he had my cell phone number! I missed my shot at an interview, and Greenwood and I were never able to schedule another time.

At this point, I'm not so proud to be a phone screener.

Check out Greenwood at 8 p.m. Saturday at DiamondJacks Casino in Bossier City.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Shark bite

"Did you see 'Air Jaws?'"

I was asked that question by at least three different people last week. So exactly what did we do before Shark Week? And why are we so obsessed?

It's been four days since the Discovery Channel wrapped the 20th year of shark coverage, and I still haven't adjusted. As nerdy as it sounds, last week these shows were the topic of conversation among my circle of friends. Even though I was in Jackson for most of the week, I managed to TiVo as much Shark Week as possible.

I did see "Air Jaw," and I was astonished at how these two-ton Great Whites could perform such elegant air acrobatics. I also learned, contrary to popular belief, Bull sharks are the most dangerous of all because they can adapt and survive 3 to 4 years in fresh water.

You think I'm bad? My roommate confessed she and her sorority sisters would schedule homework, showers and sleep around the sharks when they were in school.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

She had to have it

I don't consider myself a Sarah Jessica Parker fan, but I will say I can appreciate what she does. I like "Sex and the City" and before that I liked "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and "Footloose." I like how Carrie Bradshaw morphed her into a fashion icon and now she can make me love clothing I would otherwise find laughable. I hate how she squeals in nearly every feature film and episode of "Sex in the City," but I still love her work and the characters she portrays. That's just the magic of SJP.

No one knew what would happen to Parker after "Sex and the City" wrapped. She's done some movies, but overall she's made a career of simply being glamorous. With the "Sex and the City" movie set to film this year and the launch of her second perfume, "Covet," Parker is back on top. So tell me, why would she agree to this? Instead of the stylish, glamorous, not-a-hair-out-of-place girl we're used to seeing, we get a deranged looking Parker kicking in glass and pushing her head between the bars of a Paris jailhouse. And even if the fragrance is worth serving time, does she really need a five gallon jug of the stuff?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Saints fans find their way to Jackson, Miss.

Friday's Preview will tell you everything you need to know about camping with the Saints, but I figured I'd give you guys a sneak peek of some of the pictures I took.
This is what the autograph sessions were like nearly each day I was there. Hundreds of fans pushing and waving hats and footballs for players to sign. Despite the size of the crowd, you can get autographs with relative ease from players like:

Drew Brees

Reggie Bush

and Deuce McAllister.

It was a great experience and look for more on Friday. In the meantime, I'm still on the lookout for more pictures from you guys. Send in your pictures to and look for them in Click each week.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Take a deep breath

Shreveport's got a new place to check out and it smells delicious.

I've heard of oxygen bars in other cities, but I had no idea Shreveport was getting a spot like this. At the Oxygen Bar at Eldorado Resort Casino you can get a 15 minute session and a free energy drink for $10.

There are 16 flavors to choose from, including:
  • Allure (Jasmine)
  • Blackberry Vanilla
  • Bliss (Hawaiian Ginger, Bergamot)
  • Calming (Lavender, Tangerine)
  • Chocolate Covered Cherries
  • Coconut Limon (Coconut and Lime)
  • Freesia
  • Lavender Lemongrass
  • Relax (Juniper Berry)
  • Revitalizing (Bayberry)
  • Serenity (Lavender, Balsam Fir Needles)
  • Sex on the Beach (Assorted Fruit Flavors)
  • Shower With Me (So Clean)
  • Sugar Cookie
  • Zen (Rosemary & Mint)
  • Pina Colada (Pineapple and Coconut)

Visitors inhale oxygen through a cannula inserted into the nostrils and the benefits are impressive. The oxygen is said to heighten concentration, alertness and memory, strengthen the heart, calm the mind, improve sleep patterns and more.

The Oxygen Bar is open for 10 to 12 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.