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Archive for the 'Plug It' Category

In Lieu of Flowers…

Friday, March 7th, 2008

On March 6, 2008 at approximately 8:45am MST, Gaylene lost her courageous battle against Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma; a rare form of thyroid cancer that spread, unchecked, into her liver.

Surrounded by her loved ones, Gaylene was aware of what was happening to her and before she slipped into a hepatic encephalopathy coma, she was able to tell them all that she loved them.

This feisty, vibrant, and strong woman will be laid to rest on Saturday, March 8th. In lieu of flowers, her family asks that donations be made, in her name, to either The American Cancer Society or The Lance Armstrong Foundation.

I, too, ask that you contribute - even if it is just a couple of dollars - to one or the other. In the past year, I have seen three people now lose their lives to cancer. First, Jenny - entirely too young to see her life ended. Then, a co-worker that we all called "Robi"; a brilliant and charming man the world is much the less for losing. Now, my dear friend's mother - life snipped short in her prime, golden years.

I once vehemently decried to a close friend of mine, "I hate cancer!" He, an active member of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation ever since his wife had become a breast cancer survivor, said something that has stuck with me through the years. "Yes,", he answered, "but what are you doing about it?"

We can despise and rally against the awful disease the claims so many lives - young and old - or we can do something about it. A few dollars spared to the on-going research for a cure is the very least we can do in this battle that every one of us has a stake in. Cancer is something that affects everyone's life - whether you have had it, know someone who has, or watched a loved one suffer through it - all of us have come into contact with his deadly and terrible disease in one form or another.

Cancer is something we all fear and despise, yet shall we stand idly by while it claims the lives of children and adults at alarming rates? Or shall we do something - no matter how small - to take a stand against this deadly killer? Please, make a donation - do it for Jenny. Do it for Robi. Do it for Gaylene. Do it for all of the millions of lives lost, young and old, and the millions more whose lives were shattered by this disease. Just, please, do it.

Fat Daddy’s – Good Food, Good Times, Good People

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

I have recently been honored to have been chosen as the Iberville Parish Keeper for the Find A Grave website. The position entails me gathering information on all of the cemeteries in Iberville Parish (their locations, GPS coordinates, etc.) and providing this info to the admins so they can update the proper cemetery pages at the site. Also, there are some duplicate cemetery entries, and we are to cull these together and let them know which to delete and which to merge.

I am truly excited to be the keeper for my native parish, and so, on Saturday, Baret and I struck out on our first Iberville Parish Graving Trip. Graving can work up quite an appetite, so - around lunchtime - Baret took me to a little restaurant just off Plaquemine's main drag that he had heard about (and once inspected).

The charming, small but comfy eatery is called Fat Daddy's (or Fat Daddy's Po-Boy & Bar-B-Q Shack, to be more precise). Located alongside is a small bar, owned by the same people, called 'Lil Daddys. Fat Daddys offers some delicious fare - from yummy po-boys to Southern-style bbq. I can attest that the food is delicious - yet the best part about dining at Fat Daddy's is the down-home, friendly atmosphere and charming, amiable staff.

Everyone was just genuinely friendly, and more than one person (and our own awesome waitress) stopped by our table to check on us and even chat a little bit. It felt like I was eating in my own local restaurant; one I'd known and been stopping by in all my life - yet this was my first time ever stepping into Fat Daddy's and I knew none of the staff personally. Yet it honestly felt as if I did - that I was home and among friends.

We enjoyed our lunch so much - the food, atmosphere, and friendly & helpful staff made an all-around enjoyable dining experience in true Southern fashion. No frills and fuss, just downright good, friendly people and good food cooked with love.

Next time you find yourself in the area, I absolutely insist you stop by Fat Daddy's in Plaquemine, Louisiana. It's located on the corner of LaBauve Avenue and Railroad Avenue - the address is 57950 LaBauve Avenue. You can also check out their website for more information.  You'll be awfully glad you did.

Hot For Words is More Than Just Hot

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

Twenty-seven year old linguist - and degree-toting philologist - Marina, has renewed my hope in the world's literacy with her cleverly sexy YouTube show, HotForWords, and its sister website, hotforwords.com.

It can be daunting to spend even a few moments on MySpace or Facebook reading the comments of the 20-something year-olds to their peers; literacy is not only lacking, its hardly acknowledged. These young adults could care less that they sound illiterate and uneducated; in fact, one has to wonder if they even realize how ignorant their writing and over usage of chat-slang makes them sound.

It's not a secret that the United States isn't up to par as far as educating our youth goes; my home state of Louisiana, alone, is second-to-worst in education and it shows. I ask you to take a moment of your time, for the next few days of this week, to go and read some of the articles at our local news station and newspaper's websites, WAFB and WBRZ/The Advocate. Remembering that the reporters and staff here are college-educated individuals writing for the capital city's news publications, take note of the overall prose. A good majority of the pieces are simply badly written - which is to say nothing of the misspelled words, fragmented and run-on sentences, and blatant misuse of punctuation and sentence structure.

I'm far from a literary genius and I'll be the first to tell you I am not college-educated, but I tend to understand the simple basics of grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. Not only that, I care that what I write is legible, literate, and well-written. I make mistakes - we all do - but I'm also writing in personal blogs, not the state capitol's official news stations' websites.

The sad truth is, hundreds - if not thousands - of young adults are graduating college today with absolutely no concept of how to write. I don't expect them all to be polished novelists, but I do expect someone with a college education to have, at least, the rudimentary skills of simple composition.

The plethora of media that is available today for consumption isn't exactly upping the bar either. That's why Marina at HotForWords has my absolute adoration and respect. Sure, she's using her obvious sex appeal and hotness to get herself noticed and her work out there - but doing it for such a wonderful reason and cause completely makes sense.

You've got to be rather shocking or at least somewhat noticeable to grab the attention of young adult audiences today. They are dazed by the in-your-face and fantastical on a minute-to-minute basis on television and the Internet. There's so much to choose from and so much to pique your interest, you get numb just trying to take it all in. And here, in all of this wild, crazy, often insane, media hullabaloo is this gorgeous woman talking about words. The written word and its mysterious origins and how to best use it in a sentence. While you're gawking at Marina's breasts or mesmerized by her blue eyes and sexy accent, you're actually learning something. And that, folks, is a beautiful thing.

In a world today where sounding literate and well-spoken is an after-thought - if its a thought at all - having someone preach the beauty of linguistics is insanely refreshing. If it takes a little cleavage to get the masses to listen, I'm all for it. It's time young adults and older teens get reacquainted with words and learn to respect and appreciate them; because, the truth is, the power of words and the voice they give you to speak up for yourself and get your ideas, thoughts, passions, and feelings expressed to others is immeasurable.

I left this comment for Miss Marina on her latest YouTube video:

I just found you on YouTube today and - I'm in love! Naturally, your beauty is stunning but it is that sexy, gorgeous brain I'm in awe of. From one lover-of-words to another, *thank you* for getting people far and wide interested in the beauty of the written word once more. Perhaps there is hope that 'chat slang' and today's illiteracy rate won't mean the annihilation of good grammar, correct word usage, and pleasing prose.

And that, folks, sums it all up pretty damn well.

My Favorite YouTube Video

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

There just are not words for how much I love this video. The first time, it took my breath away - and every time I have watched it after that I have found some new, beautiful and poignant message nestled into it.

Back in September '07, YouTube, along with Hewlett-Packard, ran a little contest of sorts known as Project: Direct. I knew nothing about it the first time I stumbled onto Ties, but was not the least bit surprised to learn it had drawn first place.

After watching this, I encourage you to head on over to the YouTube Project: Direct profile and view the 2nd and 3rd place entries as well as some of the other amazing entries that didn't make the final cut. You'll find some outstanding work and enjoy loads of great watching. I promise.

(If you are having problems viewing the video below, you can also view it directly on YouTube here.) 

Embedded Video

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Important Message for Those With Young Kids

Monday, November 20th, 2006

I received this YouTube video in email today. Normally I don't even watch these things, but this is different. This is real, and sad - but the message does need to be spread.

Kyle Miller, a three year-old, was killed in a car accident because of a faulty seatbelt. His mother created this loving tribute and important message so that other parents can have the knowledge that she lacked - knowledge that would have saved her son's life.

I implore you to watch this, especially if you or anyone you know has young children - and then to pass it on.

Importance of a 5-Point Harness Carseat 

Celebrate Boobies

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006

Breast Cancer Awareness MonthAs most of you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and - as has been tradition since 2003 - it's also time for the one and only BoobieThon.

So donate some money, or submit some chesty pics - join in the fun and help raise money for a very important cause.

BookCrossing – I’m Hooked

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

Breast Cancer Awareness MonthI told you that I'd stumbled upon a neat, little site called BookCrossing. I have truly been enjoying my experiences there.

It was with much excitement that I ordered a starter Release Kit and got to preparing a few books I was willing to part with to be released "into the wild". All in all, I have sent out nine books around Baton Rouge. I hoped someone would find and register the "found" book with the site, but I honestly didn't harbor great hopes of this happening.

So imagine my delight when a someone found Guilty Pleasures where the Worm and I had left it in the LSU Quad earlier yesterday morning! The person plans to read the book and re-release somewhere "far away". I love the idea that my little book may make it across the country.

For book lovers, this is really a great idea and neat site - I, again, highly suggest you join in on the good karma and book traveling fun.