…with LIVE music by THE HOLLOW DECKS!


Shreveport-Bossier City has its fair share of local bands and a pretty decent music scene, if you ask me. We also have some pretty legit big acts – across all musical genres -that come here to play just to make our ear holes happy. But let me ask you this: have you heard of an amazing local band called “The Hollow Decks?” Yes? No? Maybe? If you answered that question with anything other than “YES,” then I kind of feel sad for you. Why? Because your ears aren’t really happy, at least not yet.


The Hollow Decks is comprised of four amazing musicians who REALLY know how to put on an entertaining show from start to finish. They are a cover band, yes – they have even been called the best cover band in town – and the songs that they perform are ones that we all know and love – ’90s music: alternative, grunge, rock & pop. I believe that the songs they sing relate to a large portion of their audience because the ’90s crossed over many generations. I was in high school when this music was playing on the radio, so the Decks bring back a lot of nostalgia for me. Matchbox 20 hits being performed so well by a band that is NOT MB20 really kinda sealed the deal for me in realizing that the Decks are truly outrageous. Truly, truly, truly outrageous.

So let’s meet the band, shall we? Dexter is on guitar & vocals. Gregg is the bass player and lends his voice to the mix, too. Adam bangs the hell out of those drums & Ben delights with vocals and guitar, working with the other band members to make this not just a “cover band set,” but an actual CONCERT experience.


I have seen the Decks perform at many venues around the SBC. Larger venues like the El Dorado are always fun shows. Strange Brew has such a positive atmosphere that you can’t help but want to get up and dance (well, that’s how I feel about it anyway). They have even played shows in other cities. I think my favorite place to see the Decks perform is that tiny little special place on Kings Highway where everybody knows your name: The Tiki Bar. It’s small and intimate, but it really feels like the band’s pure rock energy is transferred to their audience in a way that I can’t even describe. You will just have to see & feel the pulsating “heart-vibes” for yourself and see The Hollow Decks as soon as possible!

I pulled this quote from their website The Hollow Decks and I just think it perfectly describes what I am trying to get across to you:

“The Hollow Decks seek to capture the lost enjoyment of 90’s music and succeed so well, one half expects Kurt Loader and Serena Altschul to pop up in between sets with MTV News flashes. Tongue-in-cheek humor speckle a set that ranges from the angst of grunge to the sparkle of pop and every other period genre in between. Consummate professionals, The Hollow Decks drive themselves to the most true-to-origin recreations of great 90’s hits as well as shining light on some great songs that slipped through the cracks of their time. All the sonic best of Generation Y wrapped up in a neon slap bracelet … with bonus Pogs.”
Michael Brooks, Booking Manager, Tiki Bar and Grill, Shreveport

I had such a great time at their last two performances that I attended. I took a lot of pictures during their recent show at Tiki. This one picture that I took – out of dozens – describes exactly how happy and full of joy I feel while singing and dancing along to the Decks – nothing else matters but the music, and the music is in us all.

IMAG6104Check out their website for pictures, video, to learn more about the band, and information on booking them to play your event! Their official fan page is facebook.com/hollowdecks

My Heart’s on Fire….ELVIRA!

37a099110484989341c76b0b9c1e586e-305x400Picture it: Shreveport, 1980-something, a late Friday or Saturday night. A man sits in his favorite spot on the couch, watching cheesy horror flicks to unwind from a long work week. Except for lights and noises emanating from the television, the house is dark and quiet. His wife and daughters are sleeping peacefully in their beds, or so he thinks. A slight shuffling sound makes his ears and eyebrows perk up. He knows he is no longer alone. Out of the corner of his eye he spots a small figure moving. The man quietly clears his throat and a little girl whispers, “I can’t sleep, Daddy.”

If you haven’t figured it out by now, that little monster was me. I began enjoying cheesy horror movies at a young age, with my dad always by my side. I was afraid, yes…but not as long as he was there. We watched all kind of classic bad movies while my dad explained to me that nothing that was happening was real. All of this allowed me to relax and see the humor behind the make-up and prosthetics. We laughed together at the lame special effects and cheesy one-liners, joking around and wondering ‘who comes up with this crazy stuff?’ I looked forward to those “late night double feature picture show” nights with him. I vividly recall my dad’s laughter when Ash smashed the mirror in Army of Darkness and fought off an army of mini evil Ashes. (Still my favorite scene) I got a little spooked out when the skeletons started walking, but he said they were nothing to fear because they were so dumb. My dad wasn’t afraid and that stuck with me. Another thing that stuck with me was the fact that most girls my age didn’t really watch that kind of stuff. As a matter of fact, I used to keep my secret love for Raimi films and Bruce Campbell to myself for fear of being called “weird” for digging a guy with a big, cleft chin and a chainsaw for an arm.

Oh Ash! You and that silly boom stick!
Oh Ash! You and that silly boom stick!


The genius behind the creation of Elvira is the woman who plays her, Cassandra Peterson. She was given artistic freedom in coming up with the character of hostess for a new weekend horror show in which she would star. Elvira’s Movie Macabre was born and bad horror films haven’t been the same since. Years later after catching her show on the weekends at times over the years, I went to an all-girls slumber party and the birthday girl had a VCR at her house. (This was a rare thing in the 1989) Eight little girls spread their sleeping bags out on the floor and giggled the night away while watching our favorite femme-fatale in her first feature film Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.  I started to feel a little better about the fact that I liked “weird stuff.”

In April 2010, I attended Texas Frightmare Weekend in Dallas, Texas. I waited in line for two hours to meet George Romero and it was totally worth it. He is the Father of the Modern Zombie, after all. However I will never forget meeting the woman who helped introduce me to Papa Romero by poking fun at something that used to scare me more than anything – zombies. (Yes, the woman who founded and runs the SBC Zombie Walk used to be afraid of zombies.) She looked just as good in person as she ever did on television. I was beside myself when I told her how much of a positive influence she had on me. I’m obviously not scared of zombies anymore – getting older does that to you – so I thanked her for showing me a way to appreciate how different creators can depict monsters in unique and interesting ways. Horror films sometimes use humor to make us laugh, fear to make us shiver, and dramatic situations to make us think deeply about our society. My personal favorites are the ones that make me laugh, smile, and fondly remember good times with my dad rather than the films that attempt to shock with ultra-violence and gore.


Elvira reached an audience of not-typical horror genre fans such as myself and ending up becoming an icon. Over the years I have made my own characters and published my own short stories, all horror-themed and some centering on strong females. Thanks to women in horror and parents who didn’t discourage my fascination with the macabre, I am no longer ashamed to admit that I just like what I like. To me and the many women who grew up with her as a role model Elvira represents a desire to be more than just the dingbat being chased by a monster through the woods, tripping on nothing and dying a stupid death while screaming for help. We want to see a woman stand her ground, kick her heels off, put her hands on her hips and face the beast. When she does open her mouth, instead of shrieking in fear, she says something like, “What is that cheap cologne you’re wearing called? Catch of the day?” then uses those ridiculous heels as a weapon to kill the monster and save the day. (GIRL POWER TO THE MAX!)

Cassandra Peterson “Elvira” will be attending Geek’d Con 2016 weekend in Shreveport, Louisiana – August 19-21, 2016. Check out their website HERE for more info! Also check out KTUX – 99X The Rock Station for good rock music & more info about this awesome con, which is in its second year!

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And I will leave you with this….

Dinner & Drama: Stem is the Space!

In case you haven’t heard yet, a cozy little spot on the corner of Line and Jordan in Shreveport is now THE space to be. A lot of stuff goes on in the old “Motor Hotel” building. Currently and over the years, it has housed cafes, business offices, community organizations, and more.

IMAG5911However now…Stem Events & Lunch is open and ready to dazzle the SBC with its delectable menu, contemporary style, and charming/modern decor. I have said it before and I will say it again: Stem is an inspirational atmosphere that speaks to the creative artist in us all.

Co-owners Yancy Cazes and Amy DesOrmeaux have really worked hard to bring it all together. Amy hails from Natchitoches (she’s a steel magnolia) and her style is not only innovative, it is charming and sincere. Ms. DesOrmeaux  created some of the delightful art that graces the walls, yet she also enjoys showcasing her own collection. Her true passion, however, lies in giving other artists the opportunity to exhibit their work. “I want Stem to be a place that people actually want to come hang out,” says Amy. “The goal here is to create the ultimate in comfort, while attempting to relate to our guests through art and atmosphere.” In my opinion, and those of many others I have asked, Stem is a success and will most definitely continue to thrive.

Now let me talk about the FOOD for a mo….yes….because I LOVE to eat. But not junk. Not processed food, not pre-made or frozen, not something scraped out of a can or dumped out of box. I love to eat GOOD FOOD. Enter Chef Kevin Medlin and his amazing kitchen crew. Chef Andrew Basciano, Chef Jacquet Willlams AKA “Slim,” and morning cook/head bartender Courtney Taylor (the sweet, flirty one) are just some of the folks here who make all the deliciousness happen. Chef Kevin does has a secret weapon back there in the kitchen with him sometimes….and her name is Mrs. Medlin. Kevin & Katie have six beautiful daughters in their little (well, not little!) blended family, and just one look at them together will stop you from wondering WHY the food tastes so dadgum good: it is made with LOVE! (and high quality ingredients, of course!)

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I have tried a few things on the menu, but today it was the soup of the day: Chicken & Sausage Gumbo…FINALLY! I don’t have to drive all the way to Clear Springs Restaurant in Nacogdoches, TX to get a good cup of gumbo! (but I still will sometimes because it is great there, too!) I have tried gumbo all around the SBC and Chef Kevin has it down pat. Not too spicy, but perfectly seasoned. Don’t worry, you can add some Tony’s…its in a shaker on the tables because hey….this IS Louisiana, after all!

I spoke with friends Kristen and Amanda during lunch. It was their first time eating at Stem. Their co-workers had been bragging and they just had to try it out. Kristen went with the signature sandwich, The Stem: “So delicious! Full of flavor, just the right amount of spicy. So much meat I could barely fit it in my mouth!” (well….that’s what she said) Amanda had the Southwest Panini. She said it was, again as with The Stem, “just the right amount of spice, lots of flavor and very nicely toasted.” It seems like every dish that comes of out Stem’s kitchen is spot-on, distinctive, and exquisitely scrumptious with every single bite.

But that’s not all! Stem is also the space to host any event that your little heart desires! Don’t have an event? No worries! The new event manager, Mat Latz, has already gathered a crew of actors and performers called “Theatre Macabre.” Events are being created and planned as I write this, and you will have the opportunity to come enjoy dinner and a show right here in our humble little Louisiana town. Recently, Stem hosted Latz’s first production, an interactive murder mystery titled “Receptional Behavior.” The entire storyline, including the characters, are from the mind of Mat. Opening weekend was June 24; both Friday and Saturday performances sold out in record time. You KNOW it’s gonna be amazing when that kind of stuff happens. And people, it WAS amazing. Tickets will be on sale for other performances soon, so keep your eyes peeled at Stem on Facebook and jump on it as soon as you can or you will regret it! TICKETS SELL OUT REALLY FAST!

I got a chance to chat with guests during the pre-show on Saturday evening, June 25. Unfortunately, I showed up to cover this story in a dress that looks almost EXACTLY like what all the waitresses were wearing. (Leave it to me!) After explaining that I was actually not part of the production, I asked a couple of folks what they were expecting, and here is one of the best answers I got:

“I think this show is gonna be awesome, and me and my friends are gonna solve this murder faster than that weird bunch of kids that live in a van with a talking dog.”

Yep. Stem is THE SPACE to be in Shreveport. They are open for lunch weekdays 11 am – 2 pm. Check out the menu here. This week’s special is Jamaican Jerk Chicken that Chef Kevin assured me will be off the chain. I can’t wait to try it!

My next story will be about the cast and crew of “Theatre Macabre,” the ones that bring the funny during murder mystery events. Keep up to date with everything going on at Stem by liking them on Facebook and sharing with your friends. You will enjoy the “Los Angeles Vibe” that I felt as soon as I walked in the place…and I just spent 5 days in the City of Angels, so that is saying a lot.🙂

I'm a little bit of a Californi girl now.
I’m a little bit of a Californi girl now.




Murder Mystery Set to “KILL IT” This Weekend in Shreveport!


Murder Mystery Dressed Rehearsal!! Event tickets - Stem Events

There’s a new place in town…and let me tell you….it’s good. REALLY GOOD.

Tonight I attended the full dress rehearsal for a new interactive murder-mystery sensation that is just starting up in Shreveport. The event is taking place at Stem, just south of downtown on the corner of Line and Jordan.  It is called “Receptional Behavior,” and folks…get ready to LAUGH.


Except…..tsk, tsk….SORRY to break the news…but opening night is Friday, June 24 and it already SOLD OUT IN 36 HOURS several weeks ago as soon as tickets went on sale. HINT: Upcoming productions will sell out fast!

You can’t help but be impressed as soon as you walk into the door. It is a family-owned business, ran by a loving father who at times his own children & parents sitting at a table, chatting with visitors & bragging about their boy. Musicians come in and play lovely tunes to entertain and inspire. It is an artist’s comfort zone.

The cast, kitchen, and wait staff really worked it to the bone tonight. They are ready to dazzle, sparkle, and shine for the big opening night and many more to come. Themed events are planned, including the August 13th launch party for the SBC Zombie Walk 2016.

Owner Yancy Cazes did a great service to our area by hiring Chef Kevin to run the kitchen. EVERY SINGLE THING I have tasted from Kev’s kitchen has been phenomenal. Chef Kevin and his wife have six kids, so you KNOW he knows how to feed a bunch of people well! Delicious food that is simple, clean, and TOTALLY TASTY. What more could you ask for??? Peanut butter white chocolate martini? YES PLEASE!!! As a matter of fact, I asked him for some leftovers just so I would have some munchies while I am writing this review (and watching Last Crusade!) and yes…that sandwich was amazing, too! Check out their menu for more about the yummy stuff!

Cazes sees greatness in what our community can offer in order to entertain and inspire.

Owner Yancy Cazes has vision and he saw a huge spark of creativity when he hired on new event manager Mat Latz.

Latz has been involved in theater and drama most of his life. He graduated from C.E. Byrd High in 1996, so you know he’s a local boy. He has acted, singed, danced, been involved with, and even DIRECTED, a lot of productions over the years. Everyone that knows him sees what a bright, shining (and loving) star he is…and all you have to do is attend an event that he is directing to see it for yourself. Most people don’t know that Latz used to be in the Louisiana Army National Guard…so he’s got the stuff to do whatever he puts his mind to! It just goes to show you that the good people in our world are giving back to us in ways that we don’t even realize.

Actors, performers, producers, editors, writers, directors, event planners, etc….they put a smile on your face, right? They make you laugh, cry, scream, get angry, or whatever emotion that a performance brings out in you as an individual. It’s all cathartic….and it’s all about love.

The atmosphere at Stem is inviting, accepting, and inspiring. They are open for lunch 11 – 2 and are available to host YOUR special event!


Click on the links in this story and check it all out. There are so many fun things to see and do right here in Shreveport/Bossier City, and you don’t have to break the bank to have some great fun!


Viva LA Film Prize 2016


The Louisiana Film Prize has become quite a big deal around these parts. “These parts” are in Northwest Louisiana, where budding and seasoned filmmakers, cast, crew and supporters gathered last night to kick off the 2016 short film competition. Twenty short films will be chosen to compete, and the audience will vote on which film they think is worthy of the $50,000 prize. (Yes, you read that right…fifty grand!) The 2016 LAFP Weekend will begin September 3o, 2016.

The second floor at artspace in Downtown Shreveport was filled with people who have been involved with the Film Prize since the beginning, yet there were also first timers in attendance. I spoke with budding filmmaker Omar Williams, a senior at Centenary College, and his friend Loren Reese. They are currently working on a script together and are hoping to have their short film completed by the submission deadline, which is July 12, 2016 at midnight. Omar described the script as being a thriller/suspense, which is still in the works. It may be an interesting project, considering that he is majoring in history but pursuing a career in film. This will be Omar and Lorens’ first submission to the LA Film Prize, which is celebrating its fifth birthday.

Omar Williams (left) and Loren Reese, young filmmakers with their eyes on the LA Film Prize.

Shreveport City Councilman (District B) Jeff Everson was a special guest; he related to everyone how much he believes that the quality of films shown during the Film Prize weekend keeps getting better and better. Chris Lyon, filmmaker liaison of the Film Prize crew, announced that Natchitoches Parish is now approved as territory in which films can be shot, since submissions must be filmed in Northwest Louisiana.

Filmmaker and LAFP filmmaker liaison Chris Lyon sporting his new “Make Indie Film Great Again” cap.

The highlight of the kick-off event was when Film Prize “Papa” Gregory Kallenberg spoke to everyone about how much of a positive economic impact the competition has brought to Shreveport. (Over 3 million dollars in revenue!)

“You have to think about who we are, what we have done together and what we have accomplished,” Kallenberg said before raising a shot of tequila, toasting the film prize and announcing,

“WE are the film prize! YOU are the film prize!”

Gregory Kallenberg, basking in awesomeness, at the LAFP 2016 Kick Off.

I spoke to Kallenberg one last time before I left the event, and he asked me why I wanted to promote the competition. My answer was pretty simple, “I love movies.” That’s when Gregory told me that I was in the right place and that everyone there was “my people.” It is obvious that a lot of love, sweat and tears go into this event. (And maybe some fake blood?) After seeing a few of the films that screened last year, I am very much looking forward to seeing every film this year and casting my vote for the best one!

For filmmakers in Northwest Louisiana, this could be your shot at making a short film and getting some recognition for your art! There are guidelines that must be followed. Check out the website for up-to-date information on submitting your original work. You can also follow the LA Film Prize on Facebook.

The film prize crew sings Happy Birthday to celebrate their 5th year!

The Color Run Shine! Tour 2015


Coming up on May 2, 2015, I will be participating in the The Color Run Shine! Tour. I’ve watched this annual event grow in Shreveport over the years, and now that I am a budding running enthusiast, I think it is time to have some fun with it!


The Color Run, also known as the Happiest 5k on the Planet, is a unique paint race that celebrates healthiness, happiness and individuality.

Now the single largest event series in the world, The Color Run has exploded since their debut event. Since then, The Color Run has more than tripled their growth, hosting more than 300 events in 50+ countries in 2014.

Everyone in 2015 will receive a limited edition Shine Tour Participant Kit, including: custom race tee, gold finisher’s medal, tricolor headband with silver stitching, brand-new shine packet, and shiny tattoos. Talk about “bling” with benefits!

The 5k course looks to be a lot of fun, with a unique Sparkle Zone and lots of killer photo ops on course. At the finish line, get ready for a festival of confetti cannons, shimmering clouds of color, and more!

Check out this cool video!

Want to sign up? Click the image below or go to thecolorrun.com and sign up today!

To go directly to the registration page for Shreveport’s event: thecolorrun.com/shreveport



Looking for Birth Parents


My aunt has joined Facebook very recently in an effort to find her birth parents. Here is her status update from Facebook:


I am helping to spread her story, in hopes that someone with information may see this, and help my Aunt Janice get in touch with her biological parents. If you think you have any information, please email me and I will put you in touch with my aunt.

Shreveport -Bossier: Louisiana’s Other Side – FEATURED BLOGGER!


I am very excited to announce that the Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourism Bureau will be having me as their featured guest blogger for the month of April!

So what does this mean? It means that I will be doing a LOT of cool stuff in April and blogging all about it over on the Louisiana’s Other Side blog – 20×49.shreveport-bossier.org – not here on my own website, where you are used to reading my fancy-type words and stuff.

With that in mind, there are a lot of really cool and fun events coming up in April and I will be attempting to cover and blog about several of them!

  • 2014 National Champions – Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks will be bringing it home again for the 2015 Championships April 7 – 13 at the Hirsch
  • Texas Avenue Makers Fair – Spring Edition! April 11
  • Walk MS at the Louisiana Boardwalk – April 11 (this one is close to my heart, please consider walking or donating!)
  • Horseshoe Casino presents Abbacadabra – ABBA tribute band on April 17
  • Ark La Tex Flyboard – My sons will be getting to experience this on April 18, thanks to the Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourism Bureau & the folks at Ark La Tex Flyboard for making this happen!
  • Black and Brown Comedy – Get Down – April 18 at Century Link
  • Southern Hills “Music in the Park” – family fun, free event at the Southern Hills SPAR Park on Bert Kouns, April 25th
  • Holiday in Dixie is this month – treasure hunt time!

So yeah…there is a LOT of awesome things for folks in the area to do…I will be having a blast covering all of this and hope that my readers will enjoy hearing all about it! Click on the image below to find out more!


Help raise money for research and awareness for Multiple Sclerosis! (This is a bit close to my heart & I hope everyone can support it in some way.) Sat., Apr 11, 2015 7:00 AM to 11:30 AM Click the image for more info.

Click the image to find out more about this awesome tribute to ABBA, coming to the Horseshoe April 17th!

My sons are getting to experience Ark-La-Tex Flyboard on April 18 on Cross Lake - click the image to find out how YOU can do this cool awesome thing!

B&B Comedy GetDown 550x2652

SBC Snow Day 2015



It finally happened! Real snow! I finally got to build my Olaf! I’ve never made a real snowman or sculpted anything out of snow, (or any medium, for that matter) but I decided to go for it. With some help from my neighbor’s kids, I worked for 3 straight hours, took a break, finished it in 2 hours. I had a walk to the store for a Gatorade, jogged the block to see other snow creations, & get some snowy pics! I even went off & made a snow angel all by myself.🙂


I don’t know how that halo got there…

God is Good All the Time!
– Michelle Suhar