Category Archives: Entertainment

Summer Obsessions

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When I’m on break lately I’ve been watching tv shows I’ve heard about, but wasn’t able to watch because my dvr was otherwise occupied with at least 2 of my current obsessions on any given night. I’ve also had 2 particular movies on rotation right now as well ūüôā

What have I been watching you ask that has me so obsessed:

1. Switched at Birth – If you’re a facebook friend you already know the reason I began watching this show, Blair Redford‘s character Ty. What a cutie! But then of course as many fans know he went away for a season and during that time I feel in lurve with Sean Berdy‘s character Emmett. Besides the adorable crushworthy cast, the storyline is a familiar one. Based on true events & an already made for tv movie ages ago, it’s about 2 girls who were born on the same day & switched at the hospital. After the discovery both girls deal with identity, relationships & how to cope with 2 sets of parents with different ideas of childrearing. Oh & did I add hunky Gilles Marini stars as one of the dads, sigh…..enough for continued viewing alone. Check out the link above to read more about Bey & Daphne & their “adventures” if you can call them that.

2. Dance Academy – As many who know me well know that I lurve my Australian tv show McLeod’s Daughters. As the years have gone on a lot of the actors have shown up either in bit parts in many movies & other tv shows here in the states. So a combination of Australia & another one of my longtime loves the movie Centerstage, enter teen drama Dance Academy. I’ve watched seasons 1 & 2 on netflix. Now I’m patiently waiting for the final season, 3, to make it to the US. I’ve only been able to preview 1 one of the teasers, the others are unfortunately now viewable outside of Australia ūüė¶ Fortunately though many faces from Dance Academy will be making their debut in the new NBC summer series Camp.

3. Dark ShadowsJohnny Depp, Tim Burton & high camp dramedy soap opera remake, yes please! Anything Depp & Burton do in collaboration is an automatic yes in my book. As HBO replays Dark Shadows this past month, I’ve signed on for each viewing in addition to my own personal dvd copy. Don’t judge me.

4. Pitch Perfect – I saw this movie when it came out, because I’m such a fan of Anna Kendrick ever since I saw her in the indie film, Camp. I’m also a lover of all things Rebel Wilson, what a riot, love her as Fat Amy. When I first saw the movie I recognized one of the film’s locations as being the Greek Amphitheater on LSU’s campus. I thought “Nah,” couldn’t be, well then during the riff off in the Huey P. Long Fieldhouse & then the shot of the Music Building it was “OMG! That’s LSU!!!!!” So that movie has an even bigger place in my heart, Geaux Tigers!

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Architecture I Appreciate

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Parthenon

Not necessarily beautiful, but it was the first building where I had a physical reaction to. I was in Nashville, trying to show my independence by taking my very first trip alone without family or friends to guide me.

I had done my duties for which I had gone on the trip, interviewed a exec dir of a Native American advocacy group, hoofed my way through a job fair, in a previous life I thought I could actually get a job working in music/entertainment.

So I decided to play tourist & see the city. I went downtown & parked so far away from everything, lol. I walked around bought a Nickel Creek CD at the Ernest Tubbs Record Shop & even made my way to country music holy ground, the Ryman Auditorium, the original site of the Grand Ole Opry.

However, the building that really struck me was the full scale Parthenon replica. Situated next to Centennial Park. It was a gorgeous day, brisk for a mid-March day & sunny, just beautiful. You go in on the ground floor & traverse the museum like display of how & when the building came about. One can either take the stairs or an elevator. I took the elevator, duh!

Looking back maybe taking the stairs might’ve prepared me better for what I eventually saw. I got off the elevator & walked around the corner into a room where I felt literally 1 inch tall. The columns were massively lined up leading the way to a 40 ft. statue of Athena. I immediately got dizzy & felt as if I was going to pass out. I actually had to feel my way around the room until I got my bearings.

Then I was overtaken by the sheer feat of the details & care taken to replicate one of the most important buildings in ancient history. I stayed there for hours just absorbing it all in. Being that I minored in art history, I was in paradise, well at least as close as I could get on a college student’s budget.

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My Most Quotable Movies

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Whenever I’m saying bye to one of my best grilfriends, we always tell each other “Checkya latuurr!” from Dazed & Confused.

Being a child of the 80’s anything uttered by anyone in the Breakfast Club or Duckie in Pretty in Pink, “Do I offend?”

My students also get a kick outta me telling them “Hellurr” from anything with Madea.

Since I fashion myself as a studious offspring from Louisiana anything from Steel Magnolias “Smile it increases your face value!” or “Is that grape or aubergine?” And my all time favorite, “Thanks Ouiser, nothing like a good piece ‘o’ a**.”

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Dancing With Karate Kid

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The season of DWTS I have been waiting for. I never anticipate DWTS, I love cuz it’s another dance show. But yes, ladies & gents, I’m in full crush mode with Ralph Macchio. True, I’m not a huge fan of his dance partner, but OMG, he was awesome. Just had to get that out my system. Now for full episode recap.

1 – Chelsea Kane, never heard of this chick before. I adore Mark Ballas so I anticipated cuteness & sweetness aplenty. Yea, I wasn’t disappointed. Thoroughly charmed with her routine. She’ll go far for sure.

2 – Wendy Williams is going home soon, maybe not before Mike & Lacey though. I was expecting Neicy Nash-esque here, but she didn’t deliver. She’ll get the sympathy vote for a couple weeks maybe.

3 – Hines Ward is frickin’ adorable!!! Like most other athletes on the show that I’ve seen, he oozes charm & there’s gotta be some¬†Asian/Polynesian¬†there which only makes me like him more. He’s gonna last probably to the finale.

4 – Petra & Dimitri, love him have yet to make any connections to her. Beautiful & graceful for sure, will last cuz of the tsunami link here, sad, but true. Hopefully she’ll pull through & have all that translate in her routines.

5 – Romeo & Chelsea H. thank goodness he’s better than his dad. He’s a cutie so he’ll make for another few weeks too, especially going the rate he’s going now. Romeo kind of reminds me of that young thing like when Nick Carter was on.

6 – Sugar Ray & Anna, loved their song, Huey Lewis, can’t go wrong there. Because he’s a legend he may last a few weeks, but still can’t tell.

7 – Kendra & Louie. Louie I wouldn’t count on that mirror ball trophy this year if I were you. Reality tv gluttons may vote for her, but I don’t see her lasting too long.

8 -Ralph M. & Karina. Yay! My sister texted me when the cast list came out & told me about Ralph Macchio. I was hoping he’d get a partner I liked, I’m just not a fan of Karina, don’t know why, but I guess I have to deal with it. He was adorable during their package, made him endearing, which if you’ve lived under a rock the past 30 years, who wouldn’t know this. Then his routine was amazing, yeah, he’s gonna last ’til the end.

9 – Chris & Cheryl. He’s got Ralph’s ideal partner, but oh well. Um, not sure how I feel yet about this one. Pretty decent, he’ll last longer than Mike for sure.

10 РMike & Lacey. Poor Lacey, not gonna go to the finals with this guy. Funny sure, reminiscent of course of Jeffrey Ross, Steve-O & need I say it, I will anyway, Adam Corolla, duh!! What I wanna see is Drew Pinsky on DWTS, that would be so worth it, lol. Love me some Drew!

11 – Kirstie all those years hanging with the Travoltas paid off. That John influence has worked it’s magic. I was thrown back to her dancing days in Look Who’s Talking 3 I believe & her dancing with John in that Christmas dream. She was awesome! She’s gonna be around for a long while if she keeps this up.

Did ya’ll catch friend Kelly Travolta in the audience? Also in support of Ms. Alley Jonathan Knight of NKOTB. Don’t believe me, check his twitter feed. I am in pop culture heaven right now, lol. Can’t wait ’til next week’s show!!

A Night With Pop Legends

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I had heard about Vive Les Arts Legends show for the past 4 years. I was finally able to go & see for my self. The Legends¬† show is VLA’s annual fundraiser party/show.

The show started with a live auction, auctioneer & all. They auctioned off all sorts of goodies, but the one thing that caught my attention was the peek-a-poo. A little fluffball off of a puppy. She twirled & plopped down butt facing the audience. With a collective “awwwwww” the peek-a-poo went for $725. Oh if I didn’t have 2 already, lol.

The highlights of the show for me were those songs that hit home, the ones I’ve internalized on my own personal life time line. The show starter was a U2 Medley by Mr. Paul Q-Pek, the guy I said in my review of The Civil War that sounds like Roger from RENT. Very rousing, got the crowd ready for the rest of the show.

A little fun was had when the emcee Johnny Russell introduced the director Eric Shepard & a Robert Palmer Medley. An Amy Winehouse impersonator, Mr. Shepard’s wife Erin, cam out instead, bottle & all. Poor Ms. Winehouse had to be carried off by the stagehands, sigh…..ah celebrities.

Priscilla Pierce gave a sweet rendition of Landslide, the Stevie Nicks homage to her father, redone most famously by my fave country rebels the Dixie Chicks. But the stand out for me was Ryan Perez’s version of Walking In Memphis, originally done by Best New Artist Grammy winner ’91 Marc Cohn. The song gives me chills every time I hear it & Mr. Perez was no slouch in the goose bump delivery department.

Marcus Brown put a smile on everyone’s face when he came out with a Johnny Mathis wig & sang Chances Are, the title & theme song of a popular cult classic Robert Downey Jr. flick. Young Mr. Brown then came out with Cameron Dinkens & Jonnathan Molina for a little Motown Medley. Dinkens did great as a young Stevie Wonder on Uptight. Brown delivered again on Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together. Molina had a voice as sweet as MJ’s on I’ll Be There.

I do believe that the whole place stopped breathing when Olga Pena sang as good as or even better than Alicia Keys on If I Ain’t Got You. Mrs. Donna Connell gave the Green Goddess winning performance of Bonnie Raitt’s I Can’t Make You Love Me.

After intermission Erin Shephard, accompanied by members of the Killeen High School Band, came out as Gwen Stefani singing Holla Back. Mrs. Shepard was awesome!! Just sayin’. Then when Cathie Sheridan came out for a rousing Mambo Italiano, formerly of Rosemary Clooney fame, all I can say is I want to look as good as she did in a red dress like that. Jealous much!

I was brought back to my boy band lovin’ days when a Mr. John Lohse was introduced. All the women behind me screamed like all those women did when I went to go see Rick Springfield bout 7 years ago, haha. Not gonna lie, he had the chops not to mention the looks, no wonder those ladies were screaming, can’t blame ’em at all. Hope to see him in more shows, they’ll definitely get the attendance of the female demographic up.

I enjoyed the 50 year medley by Hayley Duggar & Erin Shephard. Songs were good, but I was expecting more interplay between the two ladies during the performance. Hey that’s just me. They did ham it up for each turn though. Okay, I cannot tell a lie. The feedback was an issue for the All Cast numbers. It was painful & interrupted what I’m sure were great performances, but I was cringing the whole time waiting for it to stop. I’m sure VLA will get that fixed for next time.

Overall, it was a great feel good show. Warm fuzzies are my specialty & Legends delivered. Can’t wait to see the theme for next year’s show!

Don’t forget Of Mice And Men shows at the end of March, should be another great performance.

The Civil War

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Let me start this post by saying I was supposed to do a write up for Vive Les Arts Theater here in Killeen a few months ago. I wound up getting strep throat, then school started, etc…etc… So here’s my make-up for them ūüôā

All I can say is what a better way to spend a night during President’s Day weekend than going to see a local production of The Civil War.

I’m a history nut, thank you Dad, so when I got a case of the “boreds” Saturday night I decided to buy a ticket for the show. Just so happens I found out one of my co-workers was in the show. To my happy surprise my friend Beverly, whom I had called & left a voice-mail to see if she wanted to join me, was sitting in the lobby waiting to see the show when I arrived. We were able to get seats in the same row, whoohoo, yay for customer service!!

The synopsis on the Broadway Musicals site, linked above, says characters from the time period tell the story of the war in song. The VLA decided to give us only Abraham Lincoln, the other cast members were not given specific roles other than to convey thru song & words the impact the war had on those who lived at the time.

The show began with 2 numbers by The Men: Brother My Brother & By The Sword/Sons of Dixie. With old photos in rotation on 2 screens on either side of the stage, it set the tone for the show, reverence for a time we’ll never know. While the quality of the songs & those who sang them throughout the night my attention was grabbed by the following numbers.

First Missing You (My Bill) sung by Kathryn Quirk. Not only did she sing superbly sweet, but my inner tv geek was tapped here. For those of you who know of True Blood on HBO the main vamp character is named William “Bill” Compton and was turned when coming back from fighting in the Civil War.

My emotional side was triggered during Tell My Father. Mmm mmm, yeah the tears started to trickle here. The next 2 songs that got my blood flowing right there in the middle of the show: I Never Knew His Name & River Jordan. Tonya Miller sang the h*** out of I Never Knew His Name. Her clarity of voice was beautiful, one of the best songs that night. Charles Reid had everyone clapping like they were at church during River Jordan, a rousing gospel-like number. I dare say some stood for this, but I was sitting in front & Mr. Reid had my full attention so I couldn’t tell you for sure.

After intermission a playful tune Old Gray Coat by Bill Selby & The Men got everyone smiling. Paul Q-Pek sang Sarah. As I listened to him sing I closed my eyes for a few moments and could see in my head & hear Adam Pascal, who played Roger in RENT. Hmmm, could it happen here in Killeen, a production of RENT, one can dream can’t they. If they do I’ll be front row, no question.

The show ended with For The Glory. I gotta tell ya I just went & looked up the lyrics, reading over them makes me tear up again. The words ring so true especially living in a military town where it permeates our lives, so many of us take those everyday heroes walking amongst us for granted.

I see The Civil War as a reminder that greatness doesn’t come easy. As we remember the past it’s also a celebration of those leaders, great or not, whichever your opinion may be, the groundwork & paths they laid for us in hopes that we make the most & best of them.

“For the glory
For the men who’ve gone before
For the men who will come after
We will wage this bloody war
For the glory
For the truth we hold so dear
Let us give the last full measure
Gathered here …
For the glory!”

Father’s Day Weekend

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I was gonna laze around my house this past weekend, but my mom called me on Thursday & asked if I was coming in, I decided sure, why not. It was going to be me & my brother John & his wife were coming in town as well. I checked the bank account & the trip was on.

The dogs & I packed up on Friday morning & headed out. Now I always tell myself I’m gonna stop at all the neat little places I usually see when we drive to Marksville. But did I stop this time when I had all the time in the world, nope. I drove straight through.

Mom had back surgery May 3rd, but luckily the day I arrived was the day her doctor gave her the okay to drive finally. Apparently she’s on the fast recovery track. Pretty amazing. When I pulled up to their apartment Mom was behind the wheel with the car already running & Dad waiting to get the dogs out of my car to doggie sit while we went to get Mom’s hair done.

Mom drove to Fawn’s & you could totally tell she was very excited to be¬†mobile in a vehicle again. I know it had to have been killing her not to drive herself. Let’s face it my dad isnt’ the best driver in the world. After the hairdresser we went back to the apartment & had dinner: Mom’s red beans & rice with fresh tomatoes, yummy!

John & Jeannie finally arrived with their little bundle of joy, Isabella, their toy yorkie. She’s a cutie¬†& loves to play, right up Howie’s alley. Howie usually tries to dominate & intmidate¬†his new playmates, but Isabella came in saw Howie, smacked him around a bit & they started playing like best buds. Personally I could watch dogs playing all day long, it’s too hysterical.

It got late & I went to the cabins & checked in, got a smoking cabin, ugh, but whatever I was only there at night. Me & dogs settled in for the night & rested up for the next day. I was soooooo¬†craving a breakfast, but maybe considering our breakfast escapades of late in Marksville, maybe it’s good I partook of McDonald’s.

So after Daddy got back from his treatment we headed up to Tioga, La. That’s where Rudy is staying now with his new girlfriend, Christy. Christy is a sweetheart & it was her granddaughter’s birthday party. It ws outside on her proch¬†of her house, a pretty nice set-up that sits a nice sized piece of land with animals included: cows, donkeys & monkeys. Yes, I said monkeys. Christy has 3 monkeys: Kenzie, Keaton & Cleo. Adorable, you can see 2 of them here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=56992&id=1071103772&l=828e447225 & in this
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They are too cute & fun to watch, kind of like watchin the dogs play. Watching them & how they interact with each other & then wth people, pretty fascinating. Christy went inside the cage with her grandaughter Addie & the boy monkey, Keaton, was all over her, hugging her & laying his head in her lap, it was the cutest thing, too precious.

Afterward we went back to Marksville & I went & had dinner with John & Jeannie. Then we went up to their suite & I took a nice little nap on the sofa. John woke me up & we went down & met Mom & Dad for the concert: Irma Thomas.

Now I remember Mom telling me stories of Irma Thomas & Aaron Neville coming into her bank where she used to work. How nice & sweet they both were. And how Irma Thomas used to bowl in the league on a different night than her league. I was really glad I went too, becasue for a second I was considering not going. She was incredible!

She sang some of her old songs & some done by others. Some of the highlights were when she informed the audience that recently 3 of her songs had been in a few movies; Breakaway in The Secret Life of Bees, which I had completely forgotten about; another in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button & Stuck In The Middle With You in Why Did I Get Married Too, which she gaced us all with at that moment.

Irma went on to tell us that she dresses for comfort & since she still bowls one hand doesn’t have nails. Of course any Louisiana entertainer worth their weight in salt nowadays¬†has to give their audience a pep talk that we’re a surviving state & will get over anything thrown at us; which got every going. Requests were welcomed, however Irma made sure to say she doesn’t mix her gospel with her R&B.

The first request was You Ain’t Hittin¬†on Nothin’. Then a couple who was celebrating their 44th anniversary got serenated with At Last. After a few more songs she sang some of her more famous tunes the first being a big hit for Otis Redding as Pain In My Heart, but for Irma it was Ruler of My Heart, which I gotta tell ya I prefer over Otis’ version. I’m still a sucker for Otis’ Try A Little Tenderness. Then my absolute fave of her songs Breakaway, the one in Secret Life of Bees & It’s Raining So Hard. I came home & looked up Irma online & found out Tracey Ullman did a cover of Breakaway, who knew?! Apparently, Wikipedia & YouTube do, lol.

Next morning I went & said hi to Dad & gave him his Father’s Day card, sat & visited with John & Jeannie. Then headed over to Mom’s. Mom gave me leftover red beans for Mike, since I teased him with a picture text on Friday. Gorgeous day made for a very nice drive on Sunday.

‘Til next time.

Oh my Farenheit!!

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Today I saw Michael Moore’s Farenheit 9/11. All I can say is that after viewing this movie anyone would be hardpressed to vote for our current president come November 2nd.

It was a great movie, although I have to say I got tired in the beginning of the constant grooming by administration officials before going “on air.” I think Mr. Moore could have just gone through the credits and grooming outtakes a bit faster. Although I found it amusing that they all, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeild, Rice, Wolfowitz and even Powell were having a good time smiling and waiting for the countdown to air.

I know the administration is just ignoring the film, its contents and not even validating it with responses to it. But I personally would like to hear their responses to the points the film makes, but I guess if they black out information from reports how can we expect them to answer truthfully.

I honestly believe the American public was vulnerable after 9/11 and the administration saw that as their chance to implement policies and acts, etc. with full support of most of the country. Which was evident by the mother Moore interviews in the film who was praising the military until she found out her son was killed in action. Having a family member in the military stationed in Iraq, I lost it. I almost lost it in the beginning when they were showing the scenes from 9/11, but that got to me.

The one complaint about the movie, Moore used the theme music from The Greatest American Hero during one particular pr spectacle during the war, and I love that song, Moor just ruined it for me. I know it’s cheesy, but at the same time it gives me happy memories. I won’t give away all details, but I highly recommend everyone go see it. We’ve been hearing only one side of the story for the past 4 years and it’s time we heard the other side.

I was going to vote for Kerry before I saw the movie, but I’m even more confident in my decision now.

Geaux Kerry!