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Monday, March 31, 2008

Your first chance to see NKOTB

In blog's NKOTB beat reporter Ashley Whittington sent me this e-mail a few minutes ago. Looks like it's really happening. I usually watch Good Morning America, but it looks like Friday I'll have to sneak in a few minutes of the Today Show. Set your TiVos.

New Kids on the Block to Appear on Today Show

Looks like the Today Show's got the right stuff: All five original New Kids on the Block members – Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, Danny Wood and brothers Jordan and Jonathan Knight – will appear together in the morning show's courtyard on April 4, a source tells PEOPLE.

After months of speculation, PEOPLE confirmed in January that the band is reuniting – just in time to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of their mega-hit album Hangin' Tough. The group also recently updated its Web site, The boy band, which made legions of tweens swoon in the early '90s, selling more than 50 million albums, became a worldwide phenomenon before calling it quits in 1994.

Since then, the oldest "Kid," Jonathan Knight, 39, retreated back to Boston to become a real estate developer. Former members Wahlberg, 38, and McIntyre, 35, have seen acting success, while Wood, 38, has worked as a music producer and Jordan Knight, 37, has continued to record.

Ben Folds plays here Friday

Ben Folds is coming to town. I haven't seen much advertising for the show beyond the Kings Highway area, so I though I would pass on the word about the concert Friday night.

Ben Folds and Eef Barzelay will play at 8 p.m. Friday night at the Centenary Gold Dome. Tickets are $15 in advance in admissions at the student life office on Centenary's campus and $20 online and at the door. To buy tickets online, go to

I've never seen Ben Folds live, so I'm pretty excited about the concert. Hopefully, he'll play some Ben Folds Five stuff too. I'd hate to go to the concert and not hear my best friend's anthem, "Kate."

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Easter Sunday memories

My column tomorrow will discuss some of my favorite Easter memories like egg hunting and being force fed ham. In an attempt to get us geared up for that, I decided to post this picture from many Easters ago.

That's me and half of my brother on the steps of Nana and Mick's house on Easter morning. It was the traditional holiday photo shoot, but apparently Chris was done since he's exiting to the right. It's hard to tell, but our outfits were color coordinating that year. Pale green was the color of choice. For some reason, my mom took it upon herself to dress us like Jack and Jill for the first five years of our lives.

We weren't twins, but you would have thought she wanted us to be.

Anyway, I don't look completely happy in the pic. Even though I clearly LOVED the stuffed bunny the Easter Bunny had given me. And, if you look closely, I got an awesome toy saxophone that year too. The Bunny had been good to me, but I was disgruntled for one reason. That God-forsaken dress.

My poor mother probably had this dress made for this one day and this one picture, but I hated that dress. We would continue this trend for about four more years. Ridiculous dress after ridiculous dress. I believe the following year I was forced into a similar style dress in pale blue. But that dress was worse. Jingles bells were sewn into the layers of the skirt and everywhere I went my dress jingled like a cat collar.

I didn't learn much about Jesus that year. I was too busy hunting the bells and ripping them out of the dress. I didn't get in too much trouble. After all, I grew up in overalls and boots playing in gigantic piles of dirt at construction sites.

My mom should have known better.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How I remember my Uncle Tilly

If you based it strictly on proximity, my family must really like each other. My grandpa and his brother have lived one house apart for my entire life. I grew up within walking distance of most of my cousins, five minutes away from more cousins and just 10 minutes away from my grandparents. We're a close group based on location alone.

My great uncle Tilly passed away Saturday and today we all gathered to celebrate his life. Since he and his wife, Ruth, always lived just down the street from Nana and Mick, we would always ended up at their house for a little while on holidays.

In the summer months, it was rare to pass Ruth and Tilly's house without seeing him sitting in the garage in his lawn chair and waving to the cars as they passed. Tilly's eyes weren't the best, but he waved to everyone. We would often stop to run up the driveway and hug his neck, and I can't remember a time that he wasn't thrilled to see us. This is one of my favorite memories of my great uncle, but so many wonderful stories of his life were shared today.

People talked about his years at LSU, where he played football and met Mrs. Ruth. After more than 60 years of marriage, he still described her as the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen. He was a smart businessman, a fisherman, a Purple Heart recipient, a devoted husband, father, granddad and great granddad, and most importantly a man of strong faith.

I think my cousin Patrick said it best, "I'm just happy to have known him and shared his name."

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

See it for yourself

This morning I received a note from Jill Edwards. I mentioned her in my Keith Urban review, although not by name. Jill was the fan who carried a sign and baby gift to the Keith Urban concert and he actually called her up on stage. Here's her note:
Hi! My name is Jill Edwards... I am the woman that brought the LSU onesie to to the Keith Urban concert on March 2 in Bossier City. I just wanted to write a note of thanks for mentioning the experience in your paper. It was quite a night, wasn't it? I've never been so excited! And someone from the crowd posted a note on his website saying that she had video of the experience! She sent it to me and I've posted it on You Tube for all my friends to see! Anyway... I just wanted to say thanks for the nice review and that I really appreciate it!

If you couldn't attend the concert for yourself, check out this video. It really was an amazing sight.

Thanks to Jill for writing and sending this my way.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The problem with being George Turklebaum

Ashley, my sister-in-law to be, sent me this story earlier today. You never know if these things or true or not, but it's got a good point.

There's a problem with being George Turklebaum, and it's not just that unfortunate last name. This guy busted his hump, was the first and last guy in the office and look at where it landed him -- dead at his desk for five days without anyone noticing!

I'm sure editing medical manuscripts is a drag. Enough of a drag to make George appear dead-like, but five days without a co-worker noticing this guy had clocked out? Come on!

In the morning, there was no one to say "Hey George!?"

Five days?

How is it that we're surrounded by people, but we never really notice them?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

What's that smell?

When my editor started talking about this story, I couldn't help but laugh.

MSNBC's Top 5 stinky Hollywood men. Well, they may not actually smell bad, but they sure do look like they've ditched the rules of hygiene.

I'll probably never get close enough to have the pleasure of smelling these stinkers, but Kate Hudson won't stand downwind of Matthew McConaughey again. As the story goes, during the filming of "Fool's Gold" she tried to tell him he stunk, but he wouldn't listen. Just like a man, huh?

So let's make a list of Top 5 stinky-looking female celebs. I'll start with the obvious: Amy Winehouse. After all, didn't she recently get some sort of rash because of her poor bathing habits?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

This circus was so much more fun than mine

Goodness, life has felt like a circus lately.

I helped host a baby shower Saturday morning, attended a rehearsal dinner Friday night, my house is under repair, my dog's been ill and I've been working on this major prom story that will run Sunday. Oh, and in my spare time I've helped critique some senior projects at my Alma Mater, the City of Byrd. I'm tired just thinking about all that junk.

But this weekend I attended a circus that was much more fun than the mess I'm currently juggling. Cirque du Soleil's "Saltimbanco" stopped for three performances at the CenturyTel Center in Bossier City. It was such a fantastic show. It was funny, colorful and imaginative.
Here's a link to my review from the show and also glance through the photo gallery by Doug Collier.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Sweet 16

The golf birthday cake is a tradition in my family. It doesn't matter how old you are, or if you even play golf, when birthday time rolls around you better expect a golf scene atop your birthday cake.

Only two members of my family are excused from the golf cake -- my cousins Michael and Donna. They're both in the military and have served in war. My grandparents pay tribute to their hard service with a dessert desert war scene, complete with tanks and troops. Yeah, it's a little crazy.

Last night, Taylor's birthday was all we expected. A nice family dinner, followed by Guitar Hero, the golf cake, a few cards, a little cash, another year passes, right? But there was more in store for my younger bro. After blowing out the candles on his cake, my stepmom asked him to take out the trash. He walked out the door, trash in hand, and sitting in the garage was his first car.

It didn't take long for Taylor to get behind the wheel. We loaded up in the car and backed out of the driveway -- going a little faster than I was comfortable with. We were still in reverse, and we'd almost hit my stepmom's car and the shed. That's when Chris and I buckled up in the backseat. With my dad in the front seat, they fumbled to turn on the headlights and to figure out the windshield wipers. My dad reached to flick on the dome light and instead opened the sunroof.

"Man, this car is getting the best of you guys," Chris joked from the backseat.

Once we got rolling forward, the ride was fairly smooth. I'm sure Taylor went to bed excited. However, judging by today's weather, I doubt he'll get to test his new wheels out on the road.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

I can't believe he's driving

I knew this day would come. My stepmom has talked about it for years, "It's hard to believe in 10 years my little boy will be driving."

At that point, it was hard to believe. Today, not so much.

My brother, Taylor, turned 16 today, checked out of school and got his license. I've let Taylor drive my car a couple of times. It's terrifying. Not because he's a bad driver, but he's my little brother. It seems like just a few years ago he was learning to walk, and we were watching Barney tapes. And now it feels unnatural for him to be big enough to drive me around town. Or for him to drive around town on his own.

I think this story will run in the police briefs. You know, just to encourage people to use extreme caution. It could be a rocky couple of weeks on the road. I'm taking a page out of my own book with this one. I totaled my first car, a sweet Acura, on Christmas Day on my neighbor's car parked across the street on the small circular Joe Mae Lane. I was going 25 mph.

Good luck Taylor. Buckle up. That driveway can be tricky!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Funny Bone makes move to Boardwalk

The last joke was told Sunday night at the Funny Bone in downtown Shreveport. The comedy club, an original tenant in the Red River District, closed its doors Sunday and started its move Monday across the river to Louisiana Boardwalk.

Unable to expand in its small spot in the district, the owners decided to move to the former King Pinz in the Boardwalk. But more than good jokes are in store. The new Funny Bone will also be home to a dueling piano bar.

Here's the full story.

Tell me what you guys think. I'm actually surprised the move didn't come sooner. Is the move a good idea? After all, two other businesses have flopped in the exact same location. Are dueling pianos enough to draw in a crowd each weekend?

My girlfriends and I visited a dueling piano bar two summers ago in Las Vegas. Of all the sights and excitement Vegas has to offer, this was my favorite spot. Hopefully, Shreveport ... oops, I mean Bossier City ... will have the same opinion.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Keith Urban connects with the crowd

I'm a little slow to blog today. Sorry, I was up late with Keith Urban. Don't worry Nicole, I'm just talking about last night's four hour long concert at the CenturyTel Center. Carrie Underwood was there too.

I'm not normally a huge fan of huge concerts. I like my struggling artist -- their desperation to make it big usually means they work harder to entertain. Plus, most artists fail to connect with arena audiences, but Keith Urban changed my mind. It was a priceless show. He was funny, charming and flipped his exceptional good looking hair with finesse. Oh, the music was good too.

Here's my serious opinion on the show. There's also a link to a photo gallery.