Friday, April 30, 2010

And the answer is...

No. No to Happy Town on ABC.

I wanted to like it - I really like a lot of the people in it (Amy Acker, MC Gainey, assorted people from October Road, Abraham Benrubi, etc.) but it just doesn't work. I won't be tuning in again.

It felt like it was trying too hard to be a cross between LOST and Twin Peaks. They really need to let Laura Palmer rest in peace...

I divorce thee...

Usually I'm loyal to my tv shows until the bitter end. I watched all 15 seasons of ER, all four seasons of The OC, stuck with Dollhouse even though I knew it was going to be cancelled at any minute, etc.

This year, though, is different. I'm on the verge of breaking up with two of my longtime favorite tv shows because I'm fed up.

I've been a fan of Bones from the start. As a Buffy/Angel fan, it was must see viewing when it premiered on Fox five years ago. It quickly became a favorite with the interesting cases and excellent character interaction. I loved that each of the main characters was a fully realized person, not just a caricature. And, David Boreanaz is so charming, I'd watch the show just for him - nevermind that his chemistry with Brennan is amazing.

However, after five years of will they / won't they, I'm ready to throw in the towel. Especially in the wake of the 100th episode where the writers have yet again driven a wedge between them. And this from someone who even enjoyed the season 4 finale with the dream sequence which most fans despised.

FIVE YEARS. I think that's long enough to wait, especially since they have been teasing them getting together since the beginning.

The other show that I'm most frustrated with is Supernatural on The CW. It's also in its fifth season and it's been a rocky one for me. Supernatural is about two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, on a quest to keep the Apocalypse from destroying the world. Individual episodes have been absolutely brilliant but as a whole the season has been the weakest of the five. Interesting storylines are mentioned once and then completely dropped. And for a show that's about two brothers trying to keep the Apocalypse from destroying the world, there's a whole lot of nothing going on.

Last week's episode introduced a very interesting character at the end and then they were completely left out for last night's. What the heck? There are only two episodes left at this point. That is not a lot of time to wrap things up. We really didn't need another "filler episode" at this point in the season.

I'm not really considering divorcing this show but I needed to vent. Even on a weak night, Supernatural is head and shoulders above most of what is out there. I have wondered, though, if it wouldn't do better with a shorter season like many of the BBC shows. A full order of 22 episodes is a lot of time to fill. Maybe they would fare better if they had to have a tighter, more cohesive storyline without all the extras.

And on a final note about Supernatural, Jensen Ackles deserves an Emmy for his work as Dean Winchester. He can do more with his facial expressions and body language than just about any actor I've seen on t.v.

Do you have a show you're completely frustrated with? Why?


I knit. Sort of. I find it very fulfilling and therapeutic and I love the idea of creating something from scratch. Except I have a trunk full of half-finished projects - mostly afghans or scarves or baby blankets, things that I can do while watching tv.

I'll start a project, complete maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of it and then completely lose interest. Then when I feel the need to start knitting again, I start a completely new project.

What the heck? Why don't I just pick up an earlier project where I left off? Does anyone else have a similar problem?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

The name is some what of a misnomer since all kinds of acts play at this rather amazing music festival. This year they're featuring everyone from Pearl Jam to The Black Crowes to Anita Baker to Simon & Garfunkel.

I wasn't able to attend because of work, so I decided to post a couple of videos of some of my favorite acts that performed this year. Note: the videos are from YouTube, not of the festival perfomances.

If you'd like more information about the festival itself, click here.

Better Than Ezra - Desperately Wanting

Cowboy Mouth - Jenny Says (Just imagine Fred flinging some sweat on you, lol)

Pearl Jam - Alive

Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl

Aretha Franklin - Think (I couldn't resist using this clip from The Blues Brothers.)

Who are your favorite acts that performed this year or in years past?

The Craziest Thing...

Ever heard of catfish noodling? I first saw it when I was watching older episodes of Cougar Town (which is actually pretty funny if you can get past the name - and not all about older women chasing younger men). I thought it was a joke until saw I videos of real people doing it on YouTube.

Click here or search "catfish noodling" on YouTube to see for yourself. The person that came up with this idea in the first place must be nuts. Probably from whatever chemicals caused such mutant fish in the first place, lol.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dirty Girl Culture

Check out this post CNN has about "Dirty Girl Culture." It's an interesting view on how what's considered acceptable and/or desirable female behavior has changed, especially in the last 30 years or so.

Do you think it's valid? What's brought about this change?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fishing Trip from Hell

Good jobs are hard to come by in Winnfield, La. There's Walmart. There's the lumber industry. There are the schools. And then there are the nursing homes.

For such a small town, at the time Winnfield was the home of two of the largest nursing home chains in Louisiana. Through some connections of my dad's, I was finally able to find work as the activity director at Autumn Leaves after months of searching.

You'd think the job was playing bingo, right? WRONG. That was a small part of it but there was so much more. In addition to the mountain of chart notes I had to maintain for each resident (we had 124 beds), I had to make sure that each resident participated in at least three activities each week, note how they reacted to the activities and if I saw any improvements/declines, etc.

My employers wanted at least one special event each week, preferably more. So I organized monthly birthday parties, beauty pageants, holiday parties, easter egg hunts, a wedding for two of the residents, barbecues for the entire town, eat out groups, sight seeing trips, trips to the movies, etc. It was an insane amount of work for not much pay but I was just grateful to have finally found a job.

Of all of the craziness, perhaps the most memorable experience was the fishing trip from hell.

It was April, National Nursing Home Week, and time for the annual fishing trip. The mother of the owner of the home had a stocked pond on her property outside of town with a dock and picnic area and every year she invited any of the residents that cared to come for a day of fishing. I had 15 or 20 resident sign up; I don't remember the exact number anymore. I had to organize enough aides and nursing staff to accompany us, meals for everyone, fishing gear, bait, tents, bug spray, sunscreen, the whole nine yards. I literally had a list of my lists getting ready for this thing.

It was a beautiful day, the kind we get for about two weeks every spring. You know the ones - clear and mild with a breeze, the kind of day that just makes you want to be outside.

The vans are brought around, we load the residents up. We load the accompanying items and staff in personal vehicles. Before we even get out to the highway, we have to turn around and go back. Grandma Pearl realized she forgot her lucky bait - some earthworms she'd dug up herself. To this day, I'm not sure where an 82-year-old nursing home resident found worms to dig up, let alone the implements to do the actual digging. I think I probably don't really want to know the answer.

We get the bait and head back out.

We arrive at the pond and start unloading the residents, many of whom are in wheelchairs or use walking aids. This is fine on the parking pad, but out in the grass on the way to the pond or dock? Deadly. My one-legged resident decides to try and do it himself; he turns the brake on his wheelchair off and rolls down to the lake faster and faster until his chair is out of control. I was convinced I'd have to jump in the pond and save him. Thank goodness one of the nurses could run like the wind and caught him before he dumped over.

Crisis averted, right? WRONG. Next Ms. Linda, a little lady that looked like an elf and nearly as wide as she was tall, tripped over a cypress knee and took a pretty hard spill. She just kind of bounced back up - I can't even describe it. I would have been sore for days.

In the mean time, the nurses and aides were working towards getting everyone situated on the dock, lifting wheel chairs and assisting residents with the step up. Grandma Pearl realizes that we have a rod and reel for her to use and has another tantrum, this time demanding that we find her a cane pole to fish with. Brother, the home handyman, drove off to find her a pole while she moaned about her good luck worms going to waste.

The wind picked up and is now pretty stiff. I noticed that the sky is definitely becoming a little over cast, but it doesn't look like anything that threatening. Brother returns with a cane pole and sets himself up with Grandma Pearl to help her out.

By this time, it's 11:30 a.m. and time for lunch. We get everyone down from the dock and over to the picnic area. I pass out sandwiches, chip bags, juice boxes, cookies, etc., making sure that I follow each resident's dietary restrictions. Talk about a pain in the butt!

After the residents finished lunch, we get them back on the dock. Keep in mind each move of this nature probably takes at least 30 to 45 minutes to get everyone situated. I noticed that the wind had really started to pick up.

I looked over my shoulder and saw the meanest, blackest line of storm clouds it has ever been my misfortune to see. I started freaking out - I know this storm will come before I can get everyone off the dock and back to the vans or to the picnic area. The nurses and I debated whether to get the residents to vans or the pavilion. We decided on the vans because if the storm was going to be that bad, the pavilion wouldn't be that much protection. Most of the residents were worn out by that time anyway.

It's drizzling steadily and starting to get heavier by the time we got almost everyone back into the vans. I'm counting heads and trying to figure out who's missing when it came to me.

Grandma Pearl was still on the dock with her cane pole in her hand. Brother, the handyman, was trying to talk her into walking back to the vans. I could see her shaking her head from way over by the parking pad.

I went back over to the dock and asked her why she wasn't back at the vans with everyone else. She replied, "I ain't caught a dang thing yet and I ain't leaving until I do." By this time it was an hour later and the storm had completely blown over so I couldn't use that as an excuse to make her.

So I left her with Brother and an aide while I took everyone else back to the home, got them unloaded and situated, and had the fish brought to the kitchen to be cleaned and prepared for their dinner that night.

I ran back out to the pond for Grandma Pearl, Brother and Lola the aide. Still no luck with the fish but fortunately for me, Grandma Pearl had run out of her lucky worms by this point and I was able to talk her into leaving.

Of course, she made us stop by the grocery store and pick up some fish fillets so she could have fish for supper too. By this point, I was just relieved the trip was over and that I was able to get everyone back in more or less one piece.

Do you know what the real tragedy is? I hate to fish and don't like to eat it. It truly was a day of torture for me...

Be a part of Hollywood!

My cousin Clay is part of a group developing a new project called Time Trials and they are looking for investors. Any amount would be most welcome! If you're interested, click here or email Clay at

Clay is a writer and has worked on projects such as Malcolm in the Middle, Eve, Jonas, The Jamie Kennedy Experience, 'Til Death and Brothers.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Make fun of me if you need to, but Glee is one of my favorite shows right now. It's not the best written or acted and goodness knows the story lines are insane, but it makes me smile every week. How many shows can you say that about?

Some critics say that the musical numbers are too karaoke or auto-tuned. Know what? I don't care - I actually like many of them better than the original recordings.

I just finished watching this week's Madonna episode which was AWESOME! So many excellent quotes that I don't know where to start. I think my favorite came from Brittany the cheerleader: "Misogynist? They sent me to one of those when I pulled a ham string."

Like I said, I'm smiling when the episode closes for the evening. :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Teachers and Homework

Many of you have expressed shock and disbelief over the fact that I neglected to to a term paper in 10th grade English. I thought I'd take this opportunity to expound on that particular topic.

Everyone has at least one teacher that was a huge influence on them. You remember them fondly and can still see their class room in your mind's eye. The first of these for me was Mr. Wood, my second grade teacher.

I remember that he was an architect by training but was interested in all of this educational theory that was ahead of its time. We had stationed based learning experiences at a time when most kids were still writing their spelling words five times each and using flash cards to memorize times tables.

One time he actually brought check books and registers to teach us how to write checks, record the information and then make it balance. Who does that with 7 and 8 year olds?

Another time he took us on a field trip to the anthropology department at LSU where they showed us skulls they were working to reconstruct so they could see what the person looked like when they were alive. Only 20 years ahead of CSI, lol.

Mr. Wood was really tall, or at least seemed so to me. He always smelled of coffee - there was a thermos that he was constantly replenishing the mug on his desk with. He also uttered the words that affected my entire school career to follow: "Homework is pointless. You will never have homework while attending my class. If you can't learn it while you're at school, how will it help you to work on it alone at home?"

I know it's completely ridiculous, but that really stuck with me. If I couldn't learn it while at school, why bother? I've often wondered if my school career, if not my life, would've been different if that idea hadn't gotten stuck in my head.

I had other teachers that were excellent and that I learned a lot from: Mr. Fowler, my seventh grade science teacher, Doc Walsh, my 11th and 12th grade English teacher, Mr. Gebauer, my World History AP teacher, Ms Morgan, my American History teacher, Ms Sonnier, my chemistry teacher. There was something different about them - I actually did my homework and participated in class for them. I don't know if it was because they were really good motivators or did something different that inspired enough respect in me that I took their classes seriously.

Who was your teacher that influenced you? What was different about them that made you try harder?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Movie Ratings

I was reading comments on a review of 16 Candles, the classic John Hughes movie from the early '80s (and one of my all-time favorites. I STILL heart Jake Ryan.). One comment that kept popping up over and over was that it wasn't properly rated and that it wasn't family friendly. Family friendly?!? I never thought of it as a movie that I would show an 8-year-old.

When 16 Candles was released, there was no PG-13 rating; they went straight from PG to R. Should it have received an R? Probably not by today's standards. Should it have received a PG? No, there was that scene in the shower as well as teen drinking and some language. I do think in this case, the MPAA was more lenient than usual but an R wouldn't have been justly earned either.

And for the record, PG means parental guidance. If you have any doubts about whether or not it is appropriate for your child to watch, use common sense and view it without them first. Don't rely on a system devised by others when it comes to what your children should and should not be watching. You may not agree with the verdict.

I'm always rather curious as to how they rate movies. I think what it really comes down to these days is this: the "F Bomb." If it is dropped more than once in a movie, it is an automatic R-rating. Other than that, it needs to have extreme amounts of sex and/or violence to earn the R.

Can you think of any movies where you think it needs a different rating? why?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Misadventures at a Mexican Restaurant

Parents and grandparents, this is a cautionary tale. Remember that what you inflict on your children and grandchildren can scar them for life. Be prepared for the horror...

I was turning 10 and we were living in New Orleans East where Dad was assigned to start a multi-ethnic congregation. My grandparents on my father's side were living on the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain by that time. I'm not sure who made the decision, that part of the tale has been lost, but we wound up at the Chi-Chi's on Veterans Blvd. in Metairie to celebrate my birthday. I guess it was a logical location because it was at a mid-point between our homes.

Keep in mind that I tend to be on the shy side unless I know someone well and that I don't like crowds or being the center of attention.

My grandmother had my grandfather arrange for the wait staff to come sing "Happy Birthday" to me. They came out and put the ginormous sombrero on my head and asked if I wanted the short version or the long version. Somewhat desperate to get out of the spotlight of the crowded restaurant, I replied with these words of doom, "The short version."

I don't even know if everyone was looking but it sure felt like they were. The waitstaff all got down on their knees and proceded to sing the birthday song to me. Twice. Get it? Short Version? I just about died.

Know how you can feel your cheeks heat when you blush? My entire body went nuclear. I still remember how embarassed I felt.

For several years after that, my grandmother insisted on having my birthday dinner at a mexican restaurant. I would beg them not to have the people come with the sombrero and sing but they always did. I think they thought it was funny and that I'd get over it. Maybe I should have.

To this day, it's all I can do to stay in my chair in the restaurant when I hear waitstaff singing "Happy Birthday" to someone - and it's the worst in mexican places with those darn sombreros. It's practically a phobia. Does anyone know what you would call such a phobia?

Anyway, happy birthday, Sara! This story is for you :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

gifted vs. motivated in education

Earlier this year I posted this note on Facebook about education in public schools:

Random thought for the day:
So, I heard an interesting snippet of conversation the other day while I was at Barnes & Noble. (I admit to eavesdropping.) It was two parents of middle school students debating what to do with their children when it comes time to send them to high school.

This is the part that caught my attention:
Parent 1: We're still trying to decide where to send Jane to high school next year.
Parent 2: If you can't send her to the Academy or Episcopal (the two best private schools in BR), you need to send her to Baton Rouge High (public magnet school). The public school gifted program is a joke - its kids are bright but unmotivated.

It really got me to thinking. Does this hold true for most of the gifted graduates? It does for me. I am bright, a creative thinker with excellent problem solving skills and almost completely unmotivated. In fact, I really like my job even though it is somewhat dead end because it is relatively stress free. (Shades of Office Space :)) Would I have been different if I had attended a school where the teachers pushed us more? Any thoughts on this?

I still don't have any real answers. My parents are very pro-education - both have college degrees from LSU and my dad has a master's from SMU in Dallas - they started reading to me when I was an infant and let me start reading to them when they realized I could. Learning has always come easy - and if I do have trouble with a subject, i just pretend like it doesn't exsist.

Would it have been different if they'd sent me to Baton Rouge High where I had to maintain a GPA to stay? At McKinley in the Gifted program, you could fail any thing and enverything and stay. If you know there aren't any real consequences for messing around, does it make a difference?

I actually failed English II because I refused to do a term paper. I retook the class the next year in regular, didn't have to do a term paper and passed with flying colors. Easier class with better grades, did I learn my lesson here? Not really. I just learned how to play the game and do the bare minimum to get by.
What could my parents and/ or teachers have done differently to get me motivated and active at school? What was your school experience like?

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Glee has been everywhere in the media. The folks at Fox have gone overboard trying to make sure everyone knew it was coming back - and when.

I've seen several interviews with Mark Salling (the yummy Puck), who is a native of Texas, and everyone gives him a hard time about using "Ma'am" and "sir." I guess I don't understand why this is supposed to be funny - he's just using the manners his parents instilled in him when he was growing up. It's a sign of respect, a courtesy. He's not trying to make you feel old, Wendy Williams or the folks on Good Morning LA.

And trust me, when a habit is that ingrained, it's just about impossible to break. Heck, I use ma'am to the girl behind the counter at McDonalds if she asks a question.

I guess it's just one of those regional things - people in the north and on the west coast view people from the South as a bunch of uncouth, uneducated rednecks. People in the South view people from other areas as rude. Miscommunications on a grand scale, as it were...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The future of Television

Jen, aka the Pop Culture Curmudgeon, asked recently if the Networks are still relevant. (check out her article here.) Yahoo recently published an article stating that 800,000 Americans have dropped their cable subscriptions in favor of receiving signal out of the air or watching online or via download. While this is a relatively small number in the grand scheme of things, it is growing by leaps and bounds.

I watch most of my tv online, via hulu or netflix. It's nice to be able to watch it when I'm ready and with limited commercials. How about you? What are your viewing preferences?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Television surprises

I wanted to like Life Unexpected on the CW. I've missed the old school shows from the WB (Gilmore Girls, Everwood, even Dawson's Creek). I loved the pilot episode and was prepared to be a die hard fan. And then I watched episodes 2 through 6 and found that I can't stand the actual show; not the characters, not the writing, anything. It's a shame, really. Check out Television Without Pity ( for a second opinion.

I thought I would hate The Vampire Diaries. I didn't care for the books and wasn't enamored of the pilot. It's turned out to be a fun, dangerously addictive show filled with eye candy and quickly moving plot lines. I'm glad I stuck with it and gave it a second chance.

I've also just discovered The Unusuals on Hulu. Great, quirky little cop drama set in NYC with Amber Tamblyn from Joan of Arcadia and Jeremy Renner from The Hurt Locker as well as cast of folks you definitely know from elsewhere. It only had 10 episodes before being cancelled, but those 10 are a treat. Check it out at

How about you? Have show that you wanted to like and then didn't? Found a show that you were surprised to like? How long do you stick with a show before giving up on it?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ridiculous weather

Everyone who knows me knows that I don't really care to be outside much. Air conditioning is one of my favorite things - and a necessity for life in South Louisiana. Want to watch a movie? go to a museum? I'm your girl. Play a ball game? Go for a run? Have a picnic? Not so much.

However, the weather for this past week has been ridiculously nice. So much so, that it should have been illegal to have to sit in an office all day. I know of at least three festivals that are going on around the state this weekend and there are probably more. I can't think of better weather to enjoy such festivities in.

Have you been able to take advantage of this glorious weather or have you been stuck inside? Did you go to one of the many festivals and if so, which one?

Friday, April 9, 2010

small town vs. city life

Having grown up mostly in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, it was with some shock and disbelief that I heard the news that my dad was being assigned to a church in Houma. At the time, the main shopping drag consisted of a Walmart and a books-a-million. (There was a mall but it was... limited.) There was a movie theater but it was old and nasty. Fortunately while we were there the strip grew to include more shopping venues and the movie theater was replaced with a multiplex with stadium seating.

Four years later, we get the news that Dad has been reassigned to Winnfield. Winnfield!? I'd never even heard of it. As it happens, it's the home of three former Louisiana governors, two notorious and one semi-famous, Huey P. Long, Earl K. Long and Jimmie Davis. Old Huey was assassinated and was most famous for his "every man a king" shtick. Earl K. was loonier than a toon and is still refered to as "Crazy Uncle Earl." Jimmie Davis wrote the tune "You are my sunshine."

At the intersection of two highways in the heart of the Kisatchie National Forest, Winnfield is literally in the middle of nowhere. It has a Walmart, a couple of local grocery stores, some boutiques and eight private pharmacies. I thought I was going to hate it. No bookstores, no movie theater, no Chili's. What the heck is a girl to do in a town like that?

Know what? I loved it even though it was like going back in time 30 or 40 years. I'd move back in a heartbeat if there was some way for me to earn a decent income there. Between working at a nursing home and running the after school care program at my church, it felt like I knew everyone in town. (Not really, but I couldn't go anywhere without running into someone I knew.) I could sign for my groceries, prescriptions and gas on account and pay at the end of the month. You could be anywhere in town in five minutes - I'd find myself sitting at a red light behind three cars and wondering where all the traffic had come from.

Around the time we moved there, the internet came into its own. It was easy to order books online and have them delivered. Netflix started service so I could order movies when they came out on dvd. There were things that I missed like the shoe department at Dillard's or being able to find specialty grocery items, but in the grand scheme of things it turned out to be no big deal.

That's not to say that Winnfield is perfect -far from it. Race is a huge issue and drug use is rampant. Would you believe that the area of town where most of the black community lives is still refered to as the quarters? As in slave quarters. That's right. What is this, 1910?

I know people are abandoning small towns across America everyday in favor of big city anonymity. I guess I'm an odd duck because I felt more plugged in to the community there than I have anywhere in a long time. I've been back in Baton Rouge for four years now and still wish I could find my way back.

Do you have a small town/big city preference?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

driven crazy by tv

I've decided that television executives at the various networks are conspiring to drive me insane. Me, personally. Do they have to put so many shows that I watch on at the same day/time? There are lots of nights out there where they are just airing the latest reality crap or police procedural clone. Do we really need five versions of Law & Order or CSI?

Mondays and Thursdays are just about impossible for me. Thank goodness for internet viewing. Otherwise, I'd have to make some tough choices... Really - how do you choose on Thursdays between NBC's comedy block, Bones on Fox, and Vampire Diaries/Supernatural on the CW? All completely different creatures and all really good.

Do you have viewing conflicts? How do you make your decision? Do you watch online?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Facebook / Social Networking

I'm excited! Tomorrow I get to have lunch with my one of best friends from late elementary / middle school. We lost touch after my family moved away from New Orleans - remember that was before social networking was a glint in some geek's eye.

We found each other on facebook and finally decided it was time to actually see each other in person. It's been 20 years since I saw Marti last. We talked on the phone for the first time the other day and we both had so much to say we were talking over each other. At age 11/12/13, we had a lot in common - we both loved to read and were smarter than a public school education was really able to challenge. Marti and I started each other on our romance novel habit - she provided her grandmother's harlequins and I provided romances I checked out of the public library. (Another girl named Candace was part of our swap group until her mother found the good ones and threw them away. :) I'd forgotten all about that until M. reminded me. I lmao)

Have you reconnected with a long lost friend on facebook or another social networking site? Has it made your life easier/harder? Does it help you communicate with others or do you feel more isolated because it's all online?

UPDATE: Marti and I were able to get together yesterday (Tuesday, 4/13) after having to miss last week.

I drove down to New Orleans and picked her up for lunch. It was one of those perfect South Louisiana days that we get for about two weeks every year - 75 degrees, crystal clear skies and a nice breeze. We ate out on the courtyard at Mona's, a Lebanese restaurant around the corner from her office.

It was awesome! We talked for 2 hours straight - there were no lulls in the conversation. I think we'd still be talking if we were still there. I'm so glad we've reconnected. Hopefully I won't go 20 years without seeing/talking to her again :)

And, if you're curious, here's a picture of Eleanor McMain Secondary School where we attended 7th and 8th grade together.

Friday, April 2, 2010

You can tell it's spring time...

You can tell it's springtime because the number of obits in the paper right now is way down - probably because the weather has been so nice. It really is true! More people die in the winter than in the summer. On an average day in the winter, the paper will have between 45 and 60 obits. During the warm months, it's more like 25 to 35.

You can tell it's springtime because college baseball and trips to Omaha are popular topics of conversation. I haven't been to the new Alex Box Stadium yet but I do have many fond memories of the old one.

You can tell it's springtime because my black car is yellow, there's all kind of crap in the air and the yard crews have returned to their weekly visits.

You can tell it's springtime because the stores are stocked to the gills with Easter candy - Heavenly Hash and Goldbrick Eggs, yum, yum - and crawfish boils are back on everyone's schedule.

I love this time of year - all the signs of new beginnings, life changes and family gatherings. Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Music - I'm stuck in a moment I can't get out of

Taste in music is such a personal thing. I used to make fun of my dad because it seemed like his preferences in music were stuck in the 60s and 70s when he was in his teens and twenties. I grew up listening to The Beatles, early Chicago (before they sucked), the Doobie Brothers, The Eagles, James Taylor, Peter, Paul & Mary, Harry Chapin, etc., when he'd play them on his record player. (He still has all of his vinyl to this day.)

I still like a lot of that music - and have a lot of it on cd or mp3 - but my favorite music is from when I was a teenager and in my twenties. U2 having a concert tour? I'm there. Green Day or REM releasing a new cd? Purchased. Alanis Morisette's Jagged Little Pill is still one of my favorite albums ever. I pop it in the cd player whenever I'm ticked off and sing along. I immediately feel better.

Don't get me wrong, there is stuff that I like that has come out since then - Hot Fuss by The Killers is a favorite, as is Norah Jones' Come Away With Me - it's just that there is so much crap out there, too. Or do we like some music better because it is comfortable and familiar and we know in advance what its connotations are? Who the heck is Justin Bieber? I could care less; I can't even tell you what he sings but he's all over my favorite websites, magazines, etc.

I guess my question is this: Do our tastes in music stop evolving at a certain age? What is your favorite artist/album?