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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Puddle of Mudd tour brings Tyler Read back home

Local boys Tyler Read will be back in town soon to perform March 6 at Horseshoe's Riverdome. Even though the guys are one of two openers for Puddle of Mudd, the show should be good stuff. Tyler Read has toured with other notable bands, but this is their most mainstream tour yet.

Puddle of Mudd emerged in 2001 with "Come Clean." The album sold over 5 million copies and spawned four radio hits, including "Blurry" and "She Hates Me." Their next album, "Life on Display," didn't celebrate the same success as "Come Clean." But the album still earned gold certification.

The group's third album released in October and the first single "Famous" made it on the rock charts.

The sounds of Tyler Read and Puddle of Mudd aren't similar, yet they're compatible. Both appeal to rock fans. Who ever you follow, make it out to the Riverdome to cheer on Tyler Read -- Shreveport's own local group on the rise.

WHO: Puddle of Mudd with special guests Neurosonic and Tyler Read.
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. March 6.
WHERE: Riverdome at Horseshoe Casino and Hotel, 711 Horseshoe Blvd., Bossier City.
COST: $20.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bob Zany lives up to his name

Funny Bone in downtown Shreveport will host one of its biggest weekends of comedy starting Wednesday night. Bob Zany will perform Wednesday through Saturday at the local comedy club with fellow comedian Theo Von.

Zany's resume boasts TV appearances, radio spots and commentary roles. He's been a featured commentator on the History Channel's "History of The Joke"; made panel appearances on "Comics Unleashed"; took a turn on CMT's "Comedy Stage"; appeared on "Last Comic Standing"; and took the show-closing spot on Comedy Central's Bob & Tom Radio: The Comedy Tour.

He's performed on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno and co-starred with David Spade in "Joe Dirt."

You also can hear Zany each Tuesday morning during "The Zany Report," a nationally syndicated show on The Bob and Tom Radio Network.

Check out Zany's jokes at:

Monday, February 25, 2008

Relax and watch your SUV get smoked

After working on this story for a month, all I wanted was a bar-free weekend. No smoky smelling hair at the end of the night. No sleeping late because I'd stayed out so late.

I planned to take it easy and relax all weekend. And that's what I did, with the exception of a crawfish boil Saturday afternoon. It was a wonderful change of pace. I'm sure the party crowd had loads of fun without me, but I don't feel like I missed out one bit!

My pal Kate and I went to the Boardwalk yesterday to eat lunch at Sushiko, the only sushi place we could find serving on Sunday. I'd just turned off the exit ramp at I-20. Kate and I were sitting at the red light waiting to turn left, when I saw a giant 18-wheeler signal that he was about to turn left.

"Oh no," I said to Kate, before the truck even started spinning its wheels in my direction. It was a tight fit, and I was fearful that the trucker was going to swipe the front end of my car.

I tried to exhibit some faith in the trained professional, however all that was gone when he came within two inches of smacking the front left corner of my SUV. I laid on my horn and braced myself for the impact. He stopped. I backed up a bit, still panicking. I tried to get out of the truck's way but there was no where to go. A burgundy Tahoe blocked me in on the right and flipped me off when I tried to move out of the 18-wheeler's path.

I'm not the happiest driver you'll ever meet, but I was rattled by the lack of compassion on both sides of my vehicle.

The truck made the turn. He inched past me, just barely missing the entire left side of my car. Kate didn't say a word. Having ridden in my car more than anyone else, she knew better.

"Oh my gosh, you didn't think that was scary? I mean, the guy nearly took off the front of my car!," I asked her, searching for support.

"No, it was definitely scary," she said in agreement, possibly just to pacify me.

I've been pretty nervous on the road lately. I made a defensive driving joke once we pulled into the Boardwalk. Kate giggled, but maybe next weekend I won't drive at all.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Mr. Baxter has anxiety

First, I wanted to let you guys know that Jayson Bales has cancelled tonight's concert at Sharpie's. He's got the flu and an ill drummer. We wish Jayson a quick recovery and hopefully the date will be rescheduled soon.

On to the story.

Baxter knows when I'm about to leave the house in the morning. The sound of the television being turned off, the clicking off of my bedside lamp and the sight of me putting on my shoes all indicate that momma is about to leave for the day. He darts downstairs and hides under the coffee table until I pull him out by his back legs while he lays submissively on his back.

But this week, he tried to outsmart me.

I went through my typical routine before walking out the door, and Baxter ran downstairs and underneath the coffee table. When I bent down to pull him out from his hiding spot, he ran behind the couch. When I'd get near him, he'd run to the other side of the couch. This game of cat and mouse continued for about three minutes before I tried negotiating with him, "Bax, come on buddy. Come see me."

He wasn't budging, so I pulled out my last resort -- the car keys. He knows the jingle. The familiar sound that means we're going for a ride. It was enough to sucker him into running toward the back door, where I scooped him up and put him in his house.

All of this activity made me wonder what my dog was thinking. Is he sad because I'm leaving? Does he hate staying in his house while I'm gone? Why is it a challenge each day I leave my house?

I called the dog doc and Monday pet columnist Gregg Flowers to get an idea of what my pooch was thinking.

"Separation anxiety."

I guess if you're going to have a pet problem, the best one to have would be a dog that loves you too much. Gregg gave me some techniques to work on with Baxter and hopefully we'll work through our problems soon.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Must be 21 and up

A few months ago I learned a few bars and clubs in Bossier City were letting in 18 to 21 year olds. I thought, "What a terrible idea."

No one my age wants to go to a bar where people younger than 21 are allowed to enter. It gives the place a completely different vibe. If I want to go out with my friends, I don't want the underage crowd hanging around asking me to buy them drinks. And that's exactly what happens. I'm not sure how closely the underage crowd is policed, since I refuse to attend these places. But I know a simple arm band or a mark on the hand doesn't keep the younger crowd from getting their hands on alcohol.

I also don't understand how any bar or club makes money by letting in underage patrons. If you can't sell them drinks, are you really bringing in enough revenue on cover charges alone? Plus, imagine all the bar tabs driven away by the underage crowd. Cover charges help, but it doesn't take much business sense to realize the real money is made at the bar.

With that said, the City Council unanimously approved four laws Tuesday to keep the underage crowd from drinking in Bossier City bars and nightclubs.

So, who wants to go to the Rodeo?

Eeehhh .... I still don't know if I'm up for that!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A crash, smile and good insurance plan

It was just after midnight on Saturday when I pulled into my cozy neighborhood ready to tuck into bed. I hopped out of the car to hear a loud crash that sounded close enough to investigate.

Surely, the noise didn't come from my neighborhood. It's a tiny gated community, a small horseshoe of townhouses. No, impossible. A crash of this magnitude had to have come from the world beyond Snugglins Love (a nickname mistakenly given to my hood by the guy filling out my paperwork at the oil change place).

I walked to the fence to look out on the main street that my neighborhood backs. Nothing there. Thinking the loud noise wasn't my concern ... I went inside, let my dog out and gave in to my curiosity. I wasn't being a nosey neighbor if my dog needed to take a late night walk before going to bed. Right?

So I put my four-legged excuse on his leash and set out to investigate. I'm not a very good detective, but you wouldn't have to be Sherlock Holmes to uncover this mystery. At the end of my street someone had backed their giant white Tahoe SUV into my neighbor's 4-door car. A damaged bumper would have been pleasant; however my neighbor awoke to find her car had been banged in all the way to her back windshield. Her mate's white truck had been swiped too. And, possible the worst of all, the car had been hurled forward into the townhouse's outdoor storage building.

I couldn't imagine. One car in serious need of repair, another destroyed beyond repair and part of the house ready to topple over -- all while they slept comfortably in their bed.

I imagined how frustrated I would be in their situation. That is if all the noise had the ability to wake me at all. But I was surprised at my neighbor's reaction. As I pulled out of Snugglins on my way to work Monday morning, I checked out the crime scene. The couple had placed a note on their car.

"Out of Order -- Mgmt"

I laughed and thought "good for them." To me, having the ability to find humor in such a desperate situation is admirable. I'm sure good insurance helps too.

Friday, February 15, 2008

A mouse in the house

My grandpa's name is Mickey.

My mom is a Mickie, too.

And Mickey Mouse was my main man growing up, even though most other kids liked Goofy and my cousin preferred Figment.

But with the exception of those three things, I don't like real life Mickeys. Especially not the little guy who visited my desk last week. This newsroom saga started at the desk of Velda Hunter, who sat directly across from me until she moved desks Monday. The plastic rim on her can of mixed nuts had been gnawed. The mouse never broke through the seal, but he worked hard on it for a while.

The next day I realized the bottom drawer of my filing cabinet had been hit. Two or three packets of half-eaten crackers were left behind, along with remnants revealing the mouse left with a full stomach. Yuck.

My editor Kathie Rowell, who sits to my right, became a victim the following day. A piece of Dove dark chocolate sat in her top drawer, unwrapped and almost completely gone.

We'd been hit hard and this little mouse didn't discriminate -- salty, sweet, whatever would fill his tummy. Or at least that's what we thought. A pack of cereal bars in my bottom drawer have never been disturbed. I guess even mice don't like to eat healthy.

There have been no signs of our Office Mickey for almost a week now. I keep waiting for something crawl across the top of my foot.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Practical romance?

Most women don't find anything romantic about practicality. Especially on Valentine's Day. Don't believe me? Guys, just try giving your lady a car wash, or a clean house and an empty clothes hamper and see how she reacts. Tomorrow women all over the country will expect roses on their desks, chocolates, fancy dinners, candle light, dancing, etc.

In college, my beau was a dream when it came to special occasions. I'd get six dozen roses on our anniversaries, elaborate dinners each birthday and gifts he knew I'd love for Christmas. However, on the days in between he'd rather be at the intramural center and running around with his boys. This was the time I began to appreciate the goodness in day-to-day basic romantic gestures. A car wash, a clean load of laundry, lunch dropped off at the office.

And this is why Angela Manfredi is my Valentine's Day hero. Here's a girl who thinks like me. Her story is documented on You Tube. Angie put a group of bachelors through her Marital Obstacle Course of jar-opening, laundry-folding, car negotiations and building the perfect brownie sundae.

Rather than finding a mate through the typical dinner and drinks scenario, Angie set out to see the practical side to romance.

Check it out and share your thoughts.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sometimes you want to go ...

For about a month, photographer Val Horvath and I have been working on a Preview story about bars beyond Shreveport's city limits. We've always had the impression that these hole-in-the-wall places were where you could find the friendliest people and the most fun. However, our first night on the outskirts proved us wrong.

We'd stopped at a little place just beyond south Bossier. There were no windows in the rectangular shack and few parking spots left when we arrived there at about 8 p.m. We sat down at the bar, and to make a long story short, we were kicked out not too long after. I guess people are always suspicious when new faces walk into a place filled with regulars. We were given the "it's best you gals get to moving, now." It sort of freaked me out and nearly turned me off to doing the story altogether.

But this weekend, we hit the jackpot in Vivian. The place was called Clark's Bar and Drive-Thru Liquor. A two-in-one deal. There was a DJ called the "Master Blaster." It wasn't your typical karaoke scene, but if you felt inspired to sing Master Blaster would pass you a wireless mic and invite you to sing. Which is exactly what I did for "Love Shack." Master Blaster told me to get the party started so I took the microphone out to the dance floor and sang as everyone danced. Val took this picture and as my cousin Patrick described it, I looked like the Coors Light Idol.

Val had her fun too. In between snapping pictures she danced the Cupid Shuffle and the Chicken Dance with the locals. My friend Drake tagged along and after a few hours the shock had not completely set in.
"We just did the Cupid Shuffle in Vivian," Drake said.

Yes, we did. And maybe I'll make a point of driving out of town to go to Clark's.
NOTE: Some bloggers have mentioned they're submitting comments but never seeing them post. I think there's some sort of error with my account because I haven't received any comments since last week. If you've had a problem posting comments on here, let me know. Send me an e-mail at

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Kid Rock on politics, performing and Pam

Kid Rock's cockiness makes him one of the most quotable guys in music today. I didn't realize this until I really started reading up on him. His PR people sent me a press kit and as I read through the clippings his bluntness made me laugh out loud several times. He may not be the most likeable guy, but he's always honest.

So, I've compiled a list of my favorite, most humorous Kid Rock quotes to share with you guys. Here goes:

"I'm making a record and from what I hear she has her swimsuit on and is telling people to sign up for DirecTV." -- regarding ex-wife Pam Anderson, Maxim magazine

"I hope somebody tells me if I become embarrassing. I don't want to be touring with four other bands that were big in my era for $10 a ticket. I don't want to be doing infomercials like, 'You may remember me from such rock 'n' roll hits as "Bawitdaba' ...'" -- when asked how long he planned to tour, Maxim magazine

"Probably the long hair. And I wish I could learn that water-t0-wine trick. ..." -- when asked what he and the Son of God have in common, Maxim magazine

"I'm not really gonna talk about it, but I will tell you this: Getting married is a ball. Getting married is the most fun you can have in life. Being married sucks." -- about his three separate wedding ceremonies with Pam Anderson, Blender magazine

"Antiquing. When I'm in different towns, I like to go to antique stores. I love to find old brass lamps with bald eagles on 'em -- they're impossible to get. So maybe if you print this, someone will bring some lamps to the backstage door when we go on tour, and we can work something out." -- about his hobby of antiquing, Blender magazine

"That wasn't my tape; that was his tape -- which I haven't seen, but it's gotta be funny. Who's got it? Send it to me! I haven't seen it! I do want to apologize publicly for that tape, though. Not for the tape ... just for hanging out with Scott Stapp." -- about his sex tape, Blender magazine

"Gretchen Wilson's pretty good. One time she had a drinking party at her place in Nashville -- a hot-tub party. The next day, she says, 'You know, I woke up this morning and your Confederate-flag boxer were hanging on my Grammy.'" -- when asked which famous friends were the best drinkers, Blender magazine

"I was at the White House drinking Beam and Coke, shooting the shit with Rumsfeld, when Bush came by and gave me a five like we were on Seven Mile and Van Dyke in Detroit. I don't care if people like Bush or not. I got some (expletive) dap from the president." -- about hanging out with Donald Rumsfeld, Penthouse magazine

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

You too can see, hear, feel and experience the excitement

It's been my longtime dream to attend a U2 concert. I've tried to get tickets, but they sell out instantly. In music, these are some of the hardest tickets to get, and I've always been out of luck when the band has made stops in Dallas.

But I've done what I could to be as close as possible without going inside the arena. I own and have read both "U2 Show" and "U2 By U2." I have U2's "Live From Chicago" DVD and all this has done for me is make me crave that concert experience even more.

I've had several friends snag tickets and they've all described the experience as almost spiritual. Thousands of people, singing their hearts out, knowing each and every word -- it's the perfect concert in my mind.

I may get one step closer to knowing what a true U2 concert is like. "U2 3D," the first live-action movie shot in digital 3D, is scheduled to make it to Tinseltown USA on Feb. 15. The concert was filmed in South America during U2's "Vertigo" tour and is being presented by National Geographic and Best Buy. The 3D effects are said to be so good that some have even called it "historic."

I'm not sure if watching a concert in a movie theater will be satisfactory, but I'm willing to take the chance.

Check out the trailer at

Calling all Kid Rock fans

If you're planning to attend the Kid Rock concert at the CenturyTel Center, have been to a Kid Rock concert before or you're just an outright Kid Rock fan, I want to talk to you.

I'm working on a Preview cover story for the concert and would like to capture the perspective of some local fans.

You can call my desk (318) 459-3260 or send me an e-mail at and let me know the best time to reach you.

Monday, February 04, 2008

A record day for golf ... did anyone notice?

While the rest of the sports world talks about last night's Super Bowl upset, I want to talk about the FBR Open that played out in Scottsdale, Ariz., this weekend.

I was over at my parents' house Saturday afternoon, hanging out with my stepmom in the back of the house when my Dad busted into the room, grabbed the remote and said, “Are you guys watching this show?"

Before we had time to object to him switching from our Lifetime drama (sad, I'll admit), my dad changed the channel and began telling us to pay attention to what was going on at the other sporting event in Arizona last weekend. And more specifically, the 16th hole.

For a minute I had to question if I was even watching golf. There was constant chatter on the course. If a player hit a bad shot, he was booed. The crowd was ferocious, showing no mercy or etiquette. Even Arizona favorite Phil Mickelson was booed after he knocked his ball in the rough Saturday.

Part of me couldn't help but be appalled at the sight and sounds coming from the 16th hole. I learned from an early age how to properly play and watch golf. You don't boo. You clap if the player deserves praise. You don't heckle and you remain perfectly quiet when a player approaches their ball.

But at the FBR Open, there's little etiquette in the green rafters. It reminds me of this guy I stood beside at the Masters. As Tiger Woods walked down the first fairway the guy beside me hollered, "Tiger, I'm a doctor. I know the sex of your baby. Boy or girl? Don't you want to know?" I moved my sunglasses over my eyes to hide. When Mickelson passed us by, he advised Phil to shed a few pounds and to get a bra for his "man boobs." I ducked my head into the collar of my jacket like a turtle hiding in its shell. I was mortified, but watching this weekend's play I thought the crowd made my annoying Masters neighbor seem like a perfect gentleman.

However, there seems to be a good side to all this mayhem. Saturday's play yielded the largest gallery in golf history with more than 170,802 onlookers. I think the game will stay the same -- if not better. But the sport is drawing new fans. Should golf traditionalists be upset if these newfound fans tend to be a bit rowdy?

I'm torn. Which is probably why when I watched Saturday, I simultaneously shook my head and laughed.