Monday, August 30, 2010

Be kind to your children...

You may find this offensive. Just a head's up...

In my line of work, I come across all kinds of names. Some are old fashioned (George, Edward, Timothy), some are classics that never go in or out of style (Elizabeth, Mary, John, Charles), some are "creative" variations on a classic, some are just plain made up and some are so ridiculous that I wonder if the parent naming the child realized what they were doing. I've even seen someone named after a breakfast food.

Do your child a favor and stick with, if not a traditional name, at least one where the pronunciation corresponds with the spelling. I once had a name come across my desk that was made entirely of d's, v's, q's, r's and k's along with a couple of apostrophes. No one in the family could agree upon the actual spelling or how to say it, just that there were no vowels involved, not even a y.

Sometimes I think if I see another variation of Brittany I'll scream. I've seen Brittany, Britany, Britteny, Britney, Brittney, Briteny, Britnee, Britni, Britknee and Brit'nee. Every time I think I've seen all of the possible variations, someone comes up with another one. (And I thought the variations of Katherine were bad. Sheesh!)

Trust me, stick with the common or common sense spellings for your kid's name. It will make their life much easier. I'm a Katharine. Not the more common Katherine. Katharine. At some point, my name was misspelled in a school board data base. When I got to kindergarten, I could already read and write. They insisted I was spelling my own name wrong and made me relearn it the way it was on their roll books. All through school it was spelled wrong on all of my official papers. Finally when I was senior, I pitched a big enough fit that they fixed it so it would be correct on my transcripts and diploma.

For a long time I resented my parents for giving me a name that so many people had trouble getting correct. And the Katharine spelling isn't uncommon, it's just not the most common. Now I think it's cool - Katharine Hepburn spelled it the same way and she was so classy and smart - but growing up, it was a challenge.

Think about it this way: You're at a bank applying for a loan. You sit down at the loan officer's desk and see the name plate. It says Britni Jones. Are you really going to be able to take that person seriously or are you going to be wondering what that child's parents had against them to do that to their name?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Need a laugh? part 3

These two videos from really cracked me up.

The first features Oscar winner Marion Cotillard and a suggestion on how to make things equal in the work place.

The second features Kristen Bell, Betty White and Sigourney Weaver.

Attack of the zombie children

Some of my customers choose to write their own obituaries. This is fine with me since it means less work. I do wonder sometimes, though, if people are really reading what they’re writing when they turn in their obituaries or if they’re just trying to make what they send in sound eloquent and/or educated. One of the most common sentence structures used in obituaries (at least in South Louisiana) goes something like this: “Jane Doe was the fifth of eleven children born Aug. 1, 1925, to the late John and Susan Doe.”

Do you see the problem? Not only was Jane the fifth of 11 children born on the SAME DAY to John and Susan, John and Susan were already dead when they were having these children. Therefore Susan gave birth to 11 zombie children, lol. And good grief, by the time Susan gave birth to those 11 zombie children, they must have been walking out on their own.

They should have said something like this, “The fifth of 11 children, Jane Doe was born Aug. 1, 1925, to John and Susan Doe who preceded her in death.” Or better yet, leave off the “preceded in death” part and include that information with the section where you list the people that preceded Jane in death.

Have you got any amusing headlines or stories to share?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Need a laugh? part 2

Community was my favorite new sitcom last year, in a year when there were several outstanding new sitcoms. Many critics applaud the Modern Warfare episode (and it is excellent) as the best one but my favorite was the Physical Education episode. I've put it below for your viewing pleasure. It's also available right now on Hulu.

It includes an hysterical Mad Men sequence, a tribute to The Color of Money, and a closing Bert and Ernie tag that is awesome!

Have you seen Community before? What did you think?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Something MUST be said...

I recently read an article at debating the merits of Zac Efron and Miley Cyrus as actors and whether or not they have a future in Hollywood. The author of the article was of the opinion that Zac was a better actor and that he had more of a future as an actor than Miley, an assessment that I tend to agree with.

The part that I found interesting was that those who made comments all came out in favor of Miley, often arguing that her poor acting can be excused by because of her age and that she'll improve with time. They were just wrong... I think Miley's 15 minutes are almost up.

It is true that acting can improve with time and practice just like any other skill. However, I don't think age necessarily has that much to do with raw talent. I offer you three examples where the actor was better as a child than as an adult: Dakota Fanning practically stole I Am Sam from Sean Penn, one of the most respected actors in Hollywood. Anna Paquin won an Academy Award for best supporting actress for her work in The Piano with Holly Hunter and Harvey Keitel. Lastly, Haley Joel Osment was good in The Sixth Sense and Pay It Forward. They've all been in more recent works; just not anywhere near the same quality.

What do you think?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mosque, schmosque...

At this point does it really matter if it is a Mosque or a Community Center? Roger Ebert recently blogged about the proposed Muslim community center in the shadow of Ground Zero. If you haven't already read it, I highly recommend you do. (Click here to read it.) It offers some very thoughtful comments and/or insights on the situation and what it really means to be an American. I don't know that I necessarily agree with all of his points, but I definitely agree with the spirit of them.

I think a lot of people forget, or maybe never realized, that a lot of the founding fathers weren't Christians, they were Deists. The New World was settled by people whose religious beliefs were not just unpopular but considered dangerous and/or blasphemous by what was then mainstream Christianity.

And, from a Christian standpoint, didn't Christ tell us to turn the other cheek? What could be more faithful to his teachings than forgiving and moving on.

Lastly, I whole-heartedly support Mr. Ebert's proposal to turn Ground Zero into a green space. The whole monument/shopping center thing seems not only disrespectful to the memory of the dead but opportunistic.

True Blood S.3 Ep.10

I gotta disagree with my friend Candace's comments about this episode... I spent more time wanting to be somewhere else than I did enjoying the show.

They spent WAY too much time on the Sam and the Lafayette/Jesus stuff. Normally I like Lafayette, I think he's fabulous, I'm just not liking the direction they're taking this particular plot line. I mean, he's already spent a lot of time nursing one v-addict through their addiction; does he really have to do that again? And the African sorcerer bit? So predictable...

Did we really need to know how Sam got the money for the bar? Maybe, but it didn't really feel like it fit with the rest of this particular episode.

Like I said last week, I get the feeling that Alan Ball is determined to keep Bill & Sookie together no matter what, so therefore Eric & Sookie must always have issues.

Russell using a male hooker to replace Talbot? Kind of pathetic really and after last week's spectacular ending I was kind of expecting something more dramatic from him.

Lastly, this episode and last week's were sorely missing Alcide.

On the plus side, I also *heart* Terry Bellefleur - Arlene really doesn't deserve him. I enjoyed watching Bill get uninvited and liked being reminded that Jason is a good guy who is trying to do the right thing, even if he is a moron. It just wasn't enough to redeem the episode for me.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Wait - What was that!?!

Let's just say that my feelings about True Blood so far this season were not changed any by this episode. That is, until the last three minutes, which may have saved the season. "And now to you, Tiffany..."

In the immortal words of Forrest Gump, "That's all I have to say about that."

Monday, August 16, 2010

Jack & Bobby

Okay, so I know this show actually came out five or six years ago now, but I've just watched it for the first time streaming on Netflix (I don't think it's available on dvd at this time). To try and describe it would give away too much of the plot, but I will say that it's about two high school age brothers, one of whom will grow up to be president in 2040.

Featuring a talented cast and a host of maybe even more talented guest stars, it's really entertaining and thought provoking about a variety of issues: politics, religion, honesty, friendship, family relationships. I really recommend it.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Texas Forever

By now you know how much I adore Friday Night Lights. I'm sure you find this surprising since I don't really care for football. I know I do, except that FNL has never really been about football. It's always been about Dillon, Texas, and the people that live there. Granted, football is a big part of their lives. It gives them something to hope for and dream about.

Even though they're fictional, the residents of Dillon are my friends. I know the intimate details of their lives, their hopes and dreams, their fears. I don't know that I've ever seen such a realistic portrayal of regular people - especially Coach Eric and Tami "Mrs. Coach" Taylor. Believe it or not, this fictional relationship restores my faith in the institution of marriage.

For more extensive comments and a copy of the press release from DirecTV, check out coverage by Mo Ryan of the Chicago Tribune or James Poniewozic from Time. Alan Sepinwall of also has comments here.

PS - Tim Riggins, I love you. Just sayin.'

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Beware! It's coming...

Insanity is returning to South Louisiana - if it ever really left, lol. I mean, we actually CHOOSE to live somewhere with 95 degree temps and matching humidity.

What I really mean is that college football season is almost here. Poll predictions are being released, people are starting to talk about the Tigers' chances, LSU gear of all kinds is popping up in stores all over the place, millions of dollars are at stake.

I don't really get it myself. I mean, I'm glad that folks are excited and that they have something to be excited about, but we're talking about guys that carry a ball up and down a field while trying to hit each other.

But that's blasphemy from a South Louisiana girl. I'll say this instead: GEAUX TIGERS! (and for those of you not from here, "eaux" is pronounced like an "o").

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

To ma'am or not to ma'am...

Back in April, I wrote a blog post about Glee's Mark Salling and how the folks in LA were giving him a hard time about using "ma'am."

This past Sunday, I had lunch with two old friends, one of whom now lives in San Francisco while working on her doctorate. When I asked Candace if she missed anything about the South, one of her answers was manners.

She explained that in many parts of the country, use of the word "ma'am" is really a f*** you; it's something you say to old people to get them off your back or out of your face when they're complaining about something or droning on and on.

Huh. "Ma'am" as a f*** you. It never occurred to me that someone might use it in such a capacity. I suppose it should have; after all, depending on the situation, "You have a nice day now," might be legitimate good wishes or it might really be "I hope you get hit by a bus and die a slow and agonizing death."

When I was handling calls for the Maytag dishwasher recall (BORING!), I was criticized by the QA people for using "yes sir" too often instead of using the caller's name. In this case it was intentional on my part - there was no way I was going to pronounce his name correctly and I thought he would be less offended with a "sir."

What do you think? Are we odd and archaic in the South for observing social niceties? Is the rest of the country rude in actuality or are they just straight forward? Be sure to let me know what you think!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What's the deal with True Blood?

I've been ruminating on this topic for awhile. There are way too many storylines going on this season; I also think there are way too many new characters being introduced for old favorites to be adequately serviced. Witness the under-use of the always fabulous Pam. Be sure to check out her guest appearance on Baby Jessica's vlog where she gives some great fashion advice. I get it: Jason's dumb and continually makes bad decisions, Tara is crazy and has the worst luck, Sam's family is bad news, etc.

So what is it about this show that keeps me watching? I've often wished that it was really the Eric & Pam show featuring Lafayette and introducing Baby Jessica. I still stick by that although I'd now like to add "with special appearances by Alcide." (that guy is HOT!)

Another thing about this show that drives me up the wall are the accents. Most of the vampires are hundreds of years old and not from the South, so why are they attempting the accent? I think everyone would be better served to just use a regular, middle american accent. Except for Steven Moyer (even though his accent is the worst, lol.) - I love the way he says Sookie.

I think what it comes down to in the end, is that it is so fantastically campy and over the top, that I can't wait to see what happens next. The eye candy doesn't hurt either. ;)

Be sure and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hey, sex-ee girlfriend!

Just kidding. This post is not about Sixteen candles or Long Duc Dong. ;)

Does a song ever just get stuck in your head? No matter what I do, I have Matthew Sweet's Girlfriend stuck in my head. I find myself singing it in the car, in the shower, humming it to myself at work, you get the idea. I kept getting odd looks at Walmart before I realized I was singing out loud.

So, in an effort to remove it from my head and put it in yours, here is the video:

What songs get stuck in your head? Before "Girlfriend" I had Suzanne Vega's Tom's Diner. It took ages to get THAT out...

Monday, August 2, 2010

True Blood Season 3 - 7 episodes in

Um, yeah. A few brief thoughts about TB 3.7. I may add more at a later date...

On the plus side: Sookie killed Lorena. On the minus side: it was REALLY gross. Bill then proceeds to drain Sookie almost dry in an effort to replenish himself. Thank goodness Tara and Alcide were in a position to rescue her.

If it hadn't been so pathetic, it would've been amusing to watch Jason deal with the realization that he was going to be making some major decisions about Sookie and her care.

At this point, I'm considering giving up TB after this season. I really don't like what they've done with the characters I love and there are story lines they spend way too much time on that I could care less about. I haven't completely made up mind though...