Sunday, February 27, 2011


It will be all things Oscar from now through tomorrow as the film industry honors its own before a global television audience, not to mention those in attendance at the Kodak Theater. I came across this piece which first appeared a few days ago in the Los Angeles Times, and can be found in today's Bakersfield Californian and online at http:/,0,1712933.story.
The article by the Times' Rebecca Keegan is a nice reminder of the importance of a stars' polished behavior on the biggest night of their lives. From Sacheen Littlefeather's Oscar refusal on Marlon Brando's behalf at the 1973 ceremony to the infamous streaker the following year, the mother of all awards shows may be hard to predict where the winners are concerned, but you can bank on at least one presenter or winner behaving badly. And that's what viewers SEE at home!
Covering the Academy Awards and its red carpet action as I did four times for 23News was always my favorite assignment. But it wasn't just the occasional bejeweled star behaving badly. Some sandwiched in like a sardine in the press corps deserved their own golden statues for incivility too. It was a sequined and black-tie shark tank. But it was always great fun, and tonight I will watch with fond memories of Oscar's golden night, and hopeful that those in the spotlight whom we admire on screen and follow off screen are on their best behavior. Because it DOES 'Manner' A lot! Enjoy this article and tonight's show.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


The Thank You note is the simplest of courtesies and yet the most overlooked, it seems nowadays. We have become a society in such a hurry to get through our to-do lists that so many consider the written expression of appreciation too time-consuming and archaic. But when it comes to the thank-you note, thankfully, times HAVE NOT changed as much as we think they may have.
It still takes less than five minutes to put pen to paper, address and stamp the envelope and walk it to the mailbox, same as it did 30 years ago. Okay, maybe ten minutes more if you're still using an ink quill. But that is still but a fraction of the time the gift-giver no doubt spent selecting and purchasing your present.
If you don't have informal stationary on hand, a simple card purchased at the drug store will suffice. It isn't necessary to send a note after a dinner party, but it will certainly be received as a lovely touch if you do.
E-mail thank-yous are arm-wrestling the traditional notes for social acceptance these days, especially in the techno-mindset of the business world. But unless you are expressing thanks to a prospective employer for the opportunity to interview for a job, don't express your appreciation electronically either by e-mail or text message.
Over the years, we've been the recipients of a number of the fill-in-the-blank notes following children's birthday parties. Why bother, really. There isn't a hint of personalized expression in a fill-in-the-blank form letter, even if it has cute clowns and balloons on it!
Make sure your grown son or daughter sends a hand-written note of thanks to those who wrote college application recommendations on their behalf, and to especially to those schools who gave them an interview or personalized tour.
And most importantly, write and send the note as quickly as possible, because the timely gesture of a handwritten expression of gratitude really DOES 'Manner' A lot!

Friday, February 4, 2011


Thank you blog followers and readers for your positive response to the debut of this blog's companion column, It Manners A Lot, which premiered in last Saturday's February issue of Bakersfield Life Magazine. I look forward to having you along on this journey as we help polish social graces.
If you have not yet seen the latest issue of Bakersfield Life, it is available at newsstands throughout Bakersfield and Kern County, as well as online. Visit We are working on the next issue and tackling the subject of dating. Young or old, modern or old-fashioned, who hasn't had a dating experience to remember, or one we'd rather forget?
I 'd enjoy hearing from you. Please feel free to post here or e-mail me at with your questions and thoughts.
Lastly, several weeks ago KGET 17News featured this blog as well as a local children's etiquette course taught by Iris Doyle in a story. You can learn more about Iris' programs and contact her at her website
Finally, as we head into Super Bowl weekend, I know many of you will be enjoying good food and good times with family and friends, whether your team is playing Sunday or not. Here's some football finger- food for thought: If you are the guest at someone else's home or apartment, DO take something. Super Bowl Sunday is the mother ship of potluck days. Even if it is something you grabbed at the market on your way over, the host or hostess, and especially their guests will appreciate it. The pre-game, actual game with commercials and half-time entertainment are long enough. Don't overstay your welcome. And don't scare people with your enthusiasm for the plays.
Win or lose, remember when it is over, to thank them for their hospitality.
And if the football revelry is on your home turf, have fun while making sure your guests are enjoying themselves. I will be discreetly picking up used plates and napkins as I go, so as not to make my guests feel as though they need to abandon the game to help me clean up.
I also make sure the game is on in EVERY room (restrooms included) so visitors don't miss a second of the action.
The best gift a host or hostess can receive is a guest's genuine appreciation for having had a wonderful time. Make your guests feel welcome and send them home wishing to return again soon. Afterall, it does 'manner', a lot!
Happy Super Bowl Weekend! GO PACKERS!!