Archive for February, 2008

Cramming for the weekend….
February 29, 2008

Weekends are funny for me. Not ha ha funny, but odd in the way I approach them. I have learned that I need a carefully balanced activity level. Too much and the weekend has happened so fast I didn’t really have one. A blur. Too little and I feel a little depressed. Such as “I’m such a loser, I didn’t do anything this weekend.”
It’s all in the balance.
So this weekend, there are several possibilities before me and one thing I’m committed to.
0229081158.jpgFirst the commitment. Saturday I’m going to an “all-Beethoven evening”. It’s at a neighbor’s house, and the food served will be Big B’s favorites…white fish, mac and cheese, and dark beer. Presumably there will be something green as well. Another neighbor is doing the food…she’s just started a new business called LATCH KEY COCKTAIL & DINNER PARTIES….she does the work for you and leaves….or stays to serve, whichever you like. And entertainment will be provided by the Trio la Milpa from the BSO. I know, I know, you’re thinking terribly high-brow stuff, but it won’t be, really. Good food, plenty of German beer, pretty music….what’s not to like?
0229081144.jpgAnother option, seeing Three Irish Plays being presented at the Performance Workshop Theatre on Ostend Street in Federal Hill. Joan and Sam McCready are incredibly talented directors and actors, who hail from Ireland….so I really do want to see this before its run is over…maybe Sunday?
Also, my Netflix selections are backing up. Watched The Invasion last night with Nicole Kidman when I would rather have seen Lipstick Jungle, just because I’ve had the darn dvd for over a week, and somehow the thought of sending it back without viewing it is like throwing good food away. But today, I wish I’d just sent it back.
0228081411.jpgAND last but not(?)least, I have inexplicably signed up for the Oprah web class Monday night on Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth. Oh, and did I mention I haven’t purchased OR read the book yet?
Wow, it’s amazing what writing about these things have done for me…a clarifying already. It’s too much. Way too much(especially with yard work that needs to be done and just the usual household drudgery)….something has to go. I have a feeling it may be Eckhart. Sorry Oprah.

Two great animal stories….
February 27, 2008

I love stories about animals…most people do. Especially if they’re about an animal doing something really funny or special or cute..or about an animal being saved. I have one of each…..The first I found on a website called Cheapeake Foodie. It’s run by a friend of mine, so I check it out frequently for good recipes(which you will find there), restaurant reviews, and I always read Skeeter’s Corner.
0227081141.jpgThis time, Skeeter( and I don’t know who Skeeter is), was writing about the plight of a white tailed deer, spotted at least a mile from shore, swimming determinedly for nowhere, in an obviously weakened condition…must have gotten off course, and forgotten where land was. What do you do when you’re in a boat and see an animal in such distress? I’ll let you check the ending out for yourself….
0227081130.jpgThe other was about a lifesaving Labrador named Mackenzie….Now I’ll admit I love labs. I probably seem like a cat person, and I am…but we had a mixed lab named Scout for about 15 lovely years. Best dog EVER. I still miss him. And just look at Mackenzie’s face…look at it!! Soooooo sweet. Anyway, owner Debbie who lives in Annapolis, suffered a pulmonary embolism….and kept losing consciousness, but Mackenzie kept nudging her awake..enough so she could call 911 and get help. Good Dog!! You can see Lowell Melser’s story right here on the WBAL website. Check out both stories and you’ll feel better about man and beast, guaranteed.

It’s all in the details….
February 25, 2008

0225080930.jpg What’s wrong with this picture? OK, I really left myself vulnerable with a question like that….”Yeah, you’re what’s wrong with it” or “Your face is what’s wrong with it”. No gentle reader, let’s not go there….we’re talking details. Look at the necklace. See one of the stones sticking up? Sure you do. Surely everyone did…it was like that the entire newscast! I was happily unaware of this until I saw the newscast a few days later on dvr.(Just in case you’re thinking what a totally vain thing to do it is to watch oneself on tv, let me assure you it’s a good idea in general to do this when it’s your business. And vanity is not involved. At all.)
But I couldn’t believe no one noticed it and said something. Not the director, not the producer, not the floor director…no one. Maybe they thought it was the way the necklace was designed? Maybe. Our floor director Denny is always very good to notice hair standing on end, a crooked collar, but this escaped his eagle eye.
Alright, I know this is small in the great scheme of things…a photographer just walked by and said, “Are you blogging?” I told him it was about the crooked necklace, and he replied, “Oh, the trauma you go through.” Ha-ha.
0225081338.jpgKeep in mind though,just this morning on the Today Show, style guru Tim Gunn (Project Runway) said of Nicole Kidman’s necklace, “I though it looked good on the red carpet, but when she came out to present, it looked like she had been wrestling with someone backstage.” Ouch. It’s all in the details.It always is.

Ways to use "Drink your Milkshake"
February 22, 2008

0222081527.jpgI didn’t realize a phrase from “There Will Be Blood” had caught on so much, until someone here at BAL…the assistant news director, ok?…asked about the line, since he knows I’ve seen the movie.
Drew a complete blank…didn’t remember a think about drinkin’ no milkshake until he showed me the clip on youtube, as Daniel Day Lewis eats the scenery yet again in this movie. maybe that’s why I didn’t remember it….perhaps I was kinda numb by then.
If you would like to see the orgin of the phrase I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE. I DRINK IT UP!!, check it out.
And if you’d like a guide to the PROPER useage of the phrase, which is becoming quite popular obviously, New York Magazine can help you out. They think the line is “mind-bendingly cool”. Hmmmmmm.

Random things…
February 18, 2008

0216080937.jpg So this is February? 70 degrees outside, like winter in Phoenix. Yeah, I know, it’s cold again tomorrow, but for today, let me enjoy it.
The weather was perfect for walking this morning….foggy early on…but so pretty…like this log with fabulous moss growing on it. I love moss. 0218080859a.jpg And I listened to a great download of This American Life, last week’s program actually, called “Tough Room“, one segment in particular, really had me laughing out loud on my walk, (which must look really ridiculous, but there it is) about how the writers at The Onion have to pitch about 700 headlines a week before they get a laugh from the rest of the writers….tough room. But this one made it and it it made me laugh….”Online Dating Helping Pathetic Women Get Their Hopes Crushed More Efficiently“. Think about it…
OK, how about this one….”Expert on Anteaters Wasted Entire Life Studying Anteaters“. Come on, that is funny!! Ok, whatever, find your own funny jokes.
Went to C-Mart this weekend…haven’t been a a long time..too long, some might say. All the furniture was an extra 25 % off….and they had a huge leather chair and ottoman that were to die for. No, I didn’t get it…it was still pretty expensive. 0216081634.jpgBUT, I did get this odd antique grated window from India….you probably can’t see it from this picture, but the heavy iron grate is also painted (long ago) a lovely blue…it’s one of those odd architectural accents that Nate the decorator(you know, on Oprah?), would adore. I think.
And it now belongs to me….only 45 bucks…used to be $300! Glad I didn’t have to ship it….as it weighs easily 30 pounds. But I love it.

More insanity…
February 15, 2008

0215081139.jpg Another horrible school shooting hits the headlines and becomes the top story. “Talented student off his meds, goes crazy and kills five and then himself”….or something like that. It’s hard to know where to put something like that in your mind. The first question we all want to know of course is, why. This we will never know. Like any senseless act of violence, whether it’s a teenager killing their family…or a man throwing his child off a bridge….we will never make sense of that. There is no plausible explanation any of these people could offer you that would make sense. ” I did it because….”…there is nothing you could fill in here that would make you say, “Oh, yeah, I understand now why you did it.”
We cannot understand that which is goes against all reason.
That doesn’t mean society should stop trying to understand….on the contrary, the mental health needs in this country are great, and it is far too difficult to get services. That is something that should be addressed.
And probably all of us parents worry about all these things, far more than our kids do. I texted my daughter at college and asked if people there were scared after this latest shooting in Illinois, or is it just us parents. Her reply, “Just parents”.
For them, life goes on, while we worry at our leisure, at a distance. But if we want to make that worry count for something, think about how to make mental health care better in this country, and more accesible, and more affordable. That might make a difference.

Valentine’s Day can be treacherous….
February 14, 2008

How did I start my Super Special Valentine’s Day?? Cleaning out the kitty litter box. Yep. Me and Baby Girl, who always like to join in the fun by depositing something fresh for me. Thanks a bunch.
0214081230.jpgThe only sign of flowers here in the newsroom…a sad little poinsettia.

Valentine observations from people here at WBAL? From one guy…. “It’s a made-up holiday! Always trying to dig something out of our pockets…we just had Christmas!!”
Or…”My wife is sick at home with two sick kids!” Hey, Happy Valentine’s Day, baby.You are looking hot! Burning up!

Or this story….”I sent my wife flowers last Valentine’s Day and she told me that I just sent them to impress people at her office. That they were for them, not her. I just threw them in the trash.” And I think a huge fight followed.
My advice to this guy?(I am very free with advice here…ask anyone.)Send her flowers again this year at her office as a joke. Ask for the cheapest thing they have…a smiley face mug with a carnation…whatever. Great joke really. I hope he does it.

This one from a female (who you would know!)…”No we don’t celebrate it….I think it’s kind of BS. I get a little something for the kids, though one year my husband did spell out a message in the heart candies.” We all sighed at this…a sign of true love.
I saw on The Today Show that people who get the most valentines are as follows: 1. teachers 2. children 3. mothers.I did send my Mom a Valentine card which I hope she gets today. But I would be very surprised, shocked really, if I got one from my kids. What does this say? I thought about it….I think it means that my Mom did a better job raising me, than I did on my kids.


0213082054.jpg As an aside, I thought you might enjoy Baby Girl’s intense interest in the Maryland-Duke game last night. She was quite distraught at the final score.
P.S. Later in the day….

0214081425.jpg There are signs of romance in the newsroom after all!! Tim Tooten was totally surprised by his beautiful wife who sent him flowers. I heard him on the phone saying “But we said we weren’t gonna spend money on this…”. Yeah we’ve all heard that….but he was surprised and very, very pleased. Sing it with me now, “Love is in the air,…every time I look around….”

Stamp Irritation…..
February 12, 2008

0211082225a.jpg Yesterday we all got the news that as of May…yes, the stamp rate is going up again. “Didn’t they just go up to 41 cents?”, asked co-workers at WBAL. Well, yes, as a matter of fact…last May. And now, more stamps that will have to be increased by a lousy one cent stamp. Sooooooo annoying.
And I still have a bunch a holiday stamps left from December(obviously not sending out enough Christmas cards and unwisely did not choose the forever stamp which can still be used), so those will be useless unless I go back to the post office for more stamps!
0211082221.jpgAnd look what I got in the mail just a few days ago!! Obviously some within the U.S. Post Office don’t know what the U.S. Post Office is doing( nothing like being out of the loop). Order stamps by mail…except that if I had ordered them, I’d have even more soon to be useless 41 cent stamps.
Here’s an idea. Just hike the price to 50 cents already and leave us alone for a few years.

Dinner and a Movie
February 11, 2008

0209081911.jpgThis was actually my second trip to Iggie’s…..went there last week before going to Center Stage, and liked it so much went back this weekend. It’s on Calvert Street, just north of Center Stage.
Here’s what I like about it…..the pizza is made fresh to order, with a really thin crispy crust, like the ones I had in Rome and have pined for ever since. 0209081910.jpgGreat toppings, unusual toppings….their pizza of the month right now features roasted artichoke hearts,leeks and onion with thyme, lemon and garlic over ricotta and finished with Parmesan cheese. Their Quatro Formaggio(four cheese) with roasted garlic is fabulous, as is the one with duck confit,blue cheese roasted asparagus and red onion. AndI’m dying to try their mac & cheese with four cheeses and herbes de provence. Salads are fresh…try the spinach with goat cheese and warm pancetta dressing. Nuff said about food.
0209081913.jpgNext reason for liking Iggies’s….it’s byob! I love this…love it. Took a bottle from our new little wine club here at WBAL. It’s a very informal group….you pick out something you like and think others might too and your month, you buy wine for the group…they try it at their leisure. This first month was Gerry Sandusky’s pick…a Zenato Ripassa. Lovely, very fruity, not as austere as I was expecting. Liked it a bunch.
keep in mind at Iggie’s you also have to bus your own table after you’ve eaten…it’s totally self serve in that regard, but that doesn’t bother me a bit. I mean, you probably won’t take a client there for a meal to make an impression, but who cares?
Oh, and after the pizza, check out their sorbets and gelato…a blood orange sorbet was super….and try the pignoli cookies.
0211081213.jpgThe movie? 28 Weeks Later….on Netflix. If you saw 28 Days , you’ll catch the drift of this….the deadly virus has been eradicated in Britain, or so they think, and a repatriation of those who left begins…..and that’s when all hell breaks loose!! Scary, and occasionally annoying, but it kept my attention all the way.

New York High Def!!
February 8, 2008

0202080803.jpgLast weekend hopped on a train to NY….the main reason was to attend a high definition tv makeup master class at the M.A.C. superstore in the Flatiron District….it’s something everyone in the business is learning more about right now. Took the train up and back….wow, it is expensive to travel on Amtrak these days. They had a special advertised on their website about $49 each way on regional trains. good deal, right? So I followed all the info posted on how to get the rate….nuthin’. The best I got was about $170 roundtrip. I called Amtrak….a guy looked up the trains that were eligible(as it was NOT listed on the website), and told me if I left at 3:30 AM, I could get that rate. I told him, “What a come-on.”
Not that he cared, of course.
0208081152.jpgAnyway, came across some interesting places while there….here’s a rundown. Met my son and the lovely Jennifer for brunch when I got into town. They picked a place close to where the class was…called Punch. Very pretty..and had some great food….Spicy Chorizo Fresco Hash with Yukon Gold Potato & Sunny Side Eggs….and a Louisiana Crawfish Roll. I’m sorry now I didn’t try the aged cheddar grits. Oh, an a mimosa…natch. I wasn’t driving.
We stopped by several stores on the way to MAC that looked interesting…
like ABC Carpet and Home. 0202081321.jpgWow do they have beautiful…stuff… really. Home decor flotsam and jetsam….on which you could spend a tidy sum. Where else could you find a tiny pillow made from what look like white fabric scraps, but filled with lavendar(a nice touch), for $125? 0202081310.jpg

Could not resist going in a store down the street called Fish’s Eddy. What a great shop(though you must understand I have a weakness for china and crockery)! Right at the front entrance they had this display of white china hands that used to used as molds for making plastic gloves…the process is no longer used today. .0202081331.jpg
I couldn’t think of what I might do with one…or five of these…but they are unique. I finally made it M.A.C…where I was greeted by a somewhat disdainful sales person(this is just the M.A.C attitude sometime, I try not to take it personally), and my class started 20 minutes late(come on people, let’s be respectful of other people’s time), and got an earful…over an hours worth of information about Susan Lucci’s makeup on All My Children. Really, that is not what I came for. I’m happy you did Erica Kane’s makeup for years, but hello, what about high def makeup?
0202081341.jpgI was honestly a little frustrated, and she seemed to think everyone in class was a makeup artist( I know this wasn’t true as another anchor from Baltimore was there as well), and I wanted to say, “Wow, that is all fascinating but I have a train to catch pretty soon, and could you please get to something useful?”
0202081412a.jpgThese were the boots sitting by me…serious boots….and a lovely woman wearing them, leaned over to me and said with a Russian accent, “will she please just say it?” Amen, sister. I did learn a few things, but had to leave before the class was over, “since we started late, I’ll be running late, hope that’s ok with you”. Ummmmmmmmmmmmm, no.