Archive for July, 2007

From Bel Air to L.A.!!
July 31, 2007


OK, let’s all agree on one thing…two actually. Julianne Irwin is cute as a button(whatever that means), and the girl can sing. If you haven’t caught the voice that landed her in the top ten of NBC’s America’s Got Talent, you’ll get another chance to see her in action tonight, AND a chance to vote for this Maryland teenager. She’s from Bel Air(or as the NBC website says Bel Aire)….
I talked to her by satellite, an interview which was NOT easy to set up thanks to difficulty with the show producers, but Julienne is such a lovely young woman…has incredible poise to be only 14…amazing really.
We talked about how she keeps her nerves under control on national tv, who does her clothing(she said the first dress she wore was hers, but the one she wears tonight was picked by a stylist, natch), and said she has picked up more than a few makeup tips from the professionals. And no doubt, if you looked at her first look above…her real look..and the more glammed up image, you can see the stylists at work.
Check her out tonight on NBC at 8:00, and my interview with Julienne will air tomorrow morning on 11 News Today….I really think Julienne can win, as she has it all…poise, good looks, and above all, loads of talent.

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Crocs? Horrors!!
July 30, 2007

Remember this picture from a couple of days ago?My daughter called me last night, horrified. ” I was just reading your blog, and I can’t BELIEVE you showed you feet in those really ugly shoes! That is so embarrassing!”
(you have to understand here, that when it comes to me, my daughter is easily embarrassed…)
“Why?”, I asked, “Lots of people wear crocs.”
She agreed with that and added, “But should they? And in that color?”
Ok, the color selection was totally my fault….the original navy was much much better, but, there it is. Mud brown.
“Mom, you really shouldn’t put things like that on your blog. Seriously.”
And here’s the thing. SHE IS SERIOUS.
So, to my sweet, fashion forward daughter, I apologize for stepping publicly into the Croc zone, even temporarily. But I do kinda like them.(Sorry!)

Revisionist Friday Night
July 28, 2007

Friday nights are important to me. I love them. Sometimes it’s nice to go out for dinner, maybe a movie, and sometimes I’d rather just hang at home… get a pizza and watch something from Netflix….movies which often languish on the table looking at me, wondering why I’m not looking at them. You know. “You rented me, why not watch me?”

This past Friday, I wanted to go to a place the lovely Deborah Weiner told me about….describing eating outside on the patio at Ruth Chris Pier Five….lovely, nice place for a drink and a “crabtini”….sounded like just the thing.

Discussion on getting there went like this….”So where is it?”
“Eastern Avenue and Pier Five”.
“Where’s that?”
“You know….by Pier Six.”
“THis side or that side of Pier Six”
“That side I think.”
“Well, then it can’t be on Eastern Avenue.”
“Why not?”
“It just can’t”
“Well. it is.”
“So what’s the address?”
“PIER FIVE AND EASTERN AVENUE!!”

Road fight….

But we finally arrive, and there is a patio, nicely furnished with tables, chairs and unbrellas, even some sofas(weatherproof, presumably), but in my mind, this place was overlooking the water. Now, I realize that Deborah no doubt never said that…because it isn’t….I inferred it I guess, from the Pier Five location thingie and the glorious description, so while water was never mentioned, I inserted it in my mental picture.
So slight dissapointment already, as we overlook the street, but it’s OK….I can get over it.
I did order the famous crabtini….fabulous really, the biggest lumps of crabmeat I’ve ever seen with a remoulade sauce, served in a martini glass…really delicious. (I wish I had a picture for you but I forgot my phone.)
A pomatini made with pomegranite juice …and I want to warn you….THAT, is one strong concoction. And some gumbo…just fine, but I’ve had better in New Orleans. Perhaps that’s an unfair comparison. No, I’m sure it is.
I realized I way overthought what I was wearing…while one table of six is dressed for dinner, other diners include three guys in t-shirts and flip-flops, a group of three who look like they’ve been sightseing and are still lugging water bottles, so pretty casual.
But the food was great, it didn’t rain, and I didn’t get a mosquito bite…all in all, a success!

MY Mosquito Bite Cure
July 27, 2007


OK, yesterday at five we had a piece about things in your kitchen to keep mosquitoes away and to help with the bite, like an antihistamine. I don’t know if they work or not, never having tried them, but something that I know does work is…drum roll please…..ta-dah…vinegar! Yep, just plain old regular vinegar.
A neighbor passed this tip along to me years ago, and today I always keep vinegar on hand, and even take it on vacations. (Yes, people think I’m weird.)
The idea is, when a skeeter bites you, as soon as possible dab or splash on a little vinegar. For me, something in the vinegar seems to neutralize the bite. It never develops into a red swollen itchy lump. The next day I might be able to see where the bite was, but it doesn’t itch. I swear!

Now you don’t need fancy vinegars like the one here…in fact, balsamic vinegars with some sugar in them would probably be counter productive….and a total waste of money…I hate that. However, if you are looking for a really different balsamic vinegar, I love this fig balsamic made by Bistro Blends. I found it at the St. Michael’s Wine Festival….they make some really different blends of balsamic…sun-dried tomato, Thai sesame, blackberry….but I love the fig. A little of drizzled over summer tomatoes and fresh mozzarella…heaven!

Ugly, But They’re Mine!
July 26, 2007

I have watched the Crocs craze from afar this year….I mean, they must be comfortable..I have seen entire Croc-shod families trekking along streets from Freeport, Maine to Gulf Shores, Alabama. Little kids, even grown men, all wearing these clunky looking plastic shoes, like they were fabulous!
It’s not their intrinsic ugliness that bothered me, after all, I am devoted to my Uggs…another unattractive(ask any man)but deliciously comfortable shoe. When I slip my toes into that soft shearling….mmmmm, I long for cooler weather just thinking of them. But I digress.
My Mom led me by the hand into the world of Crocs, by ordering a pair for my birthday this summer. They came a little too small, in navy, so I returned them, getting a larger size in a color called chocolate. Perhaps Mud or Dirt would have been a better moniker, but there’s no doubt I will not have to worry about gardening soil showing on these shoes.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure I liked them when I first put them on. They felt…I don’t know…funny. I usually wear flip-flops of some sort when I’m at home or running to the store.
These don’t show my pedi…minus points for that, but they are undeniably comfy. Bouncy, roomy…I think I like them. They have been my at home shoe of choice for a few days now…maybe that says it all.

L.L . Out of Control??
July 25, 2007


Lindsay, get a driver for Pete’s sake…..you can afford one. Ok,ok, that doesn’t get to the root of Lohan’s drug problem, not even close. But it would keep her off the road and being a danger to everyone else. Would she still be able to drink and do drugs? Sure, but that’s clearly not a problem, in spite of two stints in the wildly expensive rehab Promises.
Ever check out the website for this place?
Tucked into the Santa Monica Mountains with a gorgeous panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean, Promises Malibu offers an unparalleled recovery experience. Our Malibu facility offers uncommon luxury…” and oceanfront rooms, massages, natch, but ummmm, does it work, the luxurious spa/rehab?

Surely it does for some well-heeled addicts, but for others, maybe not so much.
But no matter where you go, if you’ve ever done much study on addiction, you know it’s the rare person who kicks their drug or drugs of choice with one try. It often takes more than one, sometimes more than two or three…I’ve heard relapse called one of the stages of recovery, it’s so common.
So don’t count Lindsay out, but get off the streets girl! I guess now that she is facing some serious, possibly state prison time, that driver is finally in place, making the byways of L.A. a little safer, for those who can’t afford a driver and aren’t using, but simply trying to get to work every day(aka real job), and take their kids to school.

Best Place to Red Harry Potter’s Final Book
July 23, 2007


I was reading how Daniel Radcliffe, star of the Harry Potter movies, would soon be coming into millions of dollars in an investment fund…..wow, happy birthday Daniel.
And keep in mind he has a couple more movies to do!
Haven’t started HP and the Deathly Hallows yet…heck, I have’t even bought it. But I will, having read all the others and enjoyed them….though I don’t think any of the books will match the sheer pleasure of the first. So different, such rich and compelling imagery, being swept into Harry’s magical world of Hogwarts was an unforgettable experience.

This weekend, I caught this neighbor in what may be the optiimum position to devour the last HP book…warm sunshine, nice breeze, a hammock and a good book…what’s not to like? If you have a better pic, send it in and I’ll post it…but I doubt this can be topped.
Oh, AND…..according to the Ideal Bite, the printing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows novel will use more sustainable paper than any previous book. “Of the 16,700 tons of paper used in the first printing of the final book, 65% was certified by the the Forest Stewardship Council as sustainably harvested.”

Tales from Artscape
July 23, 2007


Artscape is a must every year for…..no, I mean, a MUST….because WBAL has a tent there and those of us who work on air staff a table under that tent and take two hour stretches signing autographs.
You meet a really interesting variety of people who stop by…partly for a water bottle, and partly for an autograph. Lots of cute, cute little kids (who of course have no idea who you are), some serious news hounds who really do watch a lot, and all those in between.
My time in the tent was spent alongside Marianne Banister(someone asked were we sisters), the I-team reporter David Collins(someone asked was he in sports), and the lovely Jennifer Franciotti who is a star in the early morning 11 News Today. Anyone who can look that good and do that quality of work in those hours is a find.
People do say some funny things though…most of which we hear all the time, such as “You look so much better in person”. And then there was that one woman who watched me on Evening Magazine in the 80s….”Remember when you were really skinny?”
Now, what is the answer to that? “Sure I do, and remember when you were really polite?” Actually I don’t remember ever being really skinny.
David Collins sweetly whispered to me after she left, “I think you’re skinny now”.
He is the nicest man.
But we had fun under the tent, met some nice folks, signed lots of pics, handed out lots of water bottles….and enjoyed a little people watching ourselves. I

Starring in a movie…
July 20, 2007

Did you catch Kate Amara’s story about having a bit part in a tv show yesterday at five? It was really funny, and Kate did a great job remembering her lines under what I know can be quite a bit of pressure. Seriously, to deliver a long standup with movie cameras rolling is nerve wracking…I know because I’ve done it.

Movie producers often turn to real reporters to play reporters on tv, because it’s a difficult rhythm for actors to get down…so I’ve been in a few. “Head of State” starring Cris Rock, “Meet Joe Black” starring Brad Pitt(in both of these my stuff was shot in a studio and I was never on set), and Line of Fire with Clint Eastwood.
But my most memorable turn in a movie…was also the best film I’ve been in….Philadelphia, which went on to win an academy award for best picture!

The really cool thing was that my scene was with Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington…so I was introduced to both of them…both very sweet, by the way, and yes, both great looking guys.And it’s true, that if your scene is with the stars, you are sooooo much less likely to end up on the proverbial cutting room floor.
But the funny thing that happened I thought of when Kate was to go to hair and makeup. The day of shooting was dreary and a little misty, and the scene was outside, on the steps of the Philadelphia courthouse.
My hair was a little longer than shoulder length then, so the hair stylist asked would I usually wear my hair up on a day like that that….I shrugged, and answered, “Sure, I guess.”
So, he put it up.
We get to the set, nervous but ready to do the scene, and the director, Jonathan Demme of Silence of the Lambs fame, came over, looked at me and asked, “What happened to her hair?” (kind of like I was a mannequin… You’ve never seen a stylist appear so rapidly.
Is there a problem?”, he asked…
Yes“, said Demme, “She had hair…I wanted her to have hair!”(remember this was a largely male actor movie-we need a little hair)
No problem“, gushed the stylist, who whisked me over to Tom Hanks chair, took out a thousand hair pins, teased my hair(of course I can’t see what’s going on with no mirror to protest), sprayed it and sent me back over for inspection.
“Better, much better…….Action!”
And so I am immortalized in a great film, in a truly frightening but mercifully brief closeup in which my enormous head fills the whole screen, with HUGE hair that would have made Hairspray proud. Reshoot, anyone?

What Are You Watching This Summer??
July 19, 2007

It used to the that summer tv viewing fell into the doldrums, as your favorite series went into reruns. And while while lots of shows ARE showing “encore presentations”, other networks figured out it’s a great time to show a new series and find some interested viewers….

Here are my finds so far…..first John from Cincinnati on HBO. It’s weird but wonderful series about a dysfunctional surfing dynasty family in Imperial Beach California….It features a big, fascinating cast including Luke Perry and Rebecca DeMornay, though it would be helpful if you started this one from the beginning. It’s a little…. complicated.

One you can pick up from the middle, and the episodes air a lot, is Burn Notice. Jeffrey Donovan stars an international spy who finds himself blacklisted, which means while they aren’t gonna kill him, he has no credit, no accounts, no nothing. So he survives by taking little cases here and there in Miami. It’s funny, really funny , and I officially have a huge crush on Donovan. Please don’t tell anyone.

Last but not least, and not a new show so it’s been discovered, but MI-5 on the BBC is new to me this season. I love this show….great action, great back stories on the complicated British agents in charge England’s national security….terrific show. If you want to catch up this season, there’s an MI-5 marathon July 22nd, starting at 3 PM…. Enjoy!!