Archive for March, 2008

Wow, it’s Monday!!
March 31, 2008

Yeah, it’s Monday, and it’s still cold…ok, chilly, and dreary outside. Where are you spring? I told you there were several things I wanted to do this weekend….some I did, others I didn’t get to, and some other things crossed my path that I hadn’t counted on.

I did get to a movie(check )….saw 21 downtown at the Harborview theatres. I give it a solid B-. Kevin Spacey was sleepwalking though a role that in his defense, didn’t call for much more. Still, a pleasant enough flick…but if you really want to see something actually interesting, Netflix the documentary Helvetica. (Check 2-) Fascinating look at one of the most common typefaces seen on signs everywhere, how it came to be, and what it has to do with global design. I love Helvetica, though I didn’t realize it until I saw the film….I wish this blog was in Helvetica type casting its secret spell but….can’t have everything, I guess.

candlesDid observe Earth Hour Saturday night…turned off all the electric except for “essentials”…for me that was the tv and the oven…one does need food and entertainment after all. And basketball was on! I noticed neighbors who were perhaps unaware of earth hour….every light in their house was blazing. It was fun since I’m a candle freak anyway, but kinda hard to cook to candlelight. Is the lamb rare or raw?

Did get to the new Catonsville Gourmet Friday night (check 3-)…the place was seriously packed.  We shared a whole rockfish, which was pan-fried, presented whole upright as though swimming, with a cilantro basil sauce that was just fabulous. cakeAnd took home a piece of Smith Island Cake, which I’ve never had before though I’ve read a lot about it. Wow, that it is an unbelieveably good cake, with about a thousand layers, chocolate and peanut butter…again, big enough to share. And I believe I have spoken before of my love of B.Y.O.B….Catonsville Gourmet is that, though some diners did not know that when they arrived…no matter, there is a nice wine store across the street.

And I cleaned out a closet this weekend!!  I know, how dull is that? But those of you who understand the dismay and unease that comes from a cluttered closet can apppreciate the feeling of order that comes from a newly organized linen closet. I had no idea how many tablecloths I had (that I never use, sorry to say), and my gift wrapping supplies are now in order. And somewhere along the way I bought birthday blowers and Big Red Dog birthday hats and stuck them in the closet, never too be seen again, until Saturday. Who were they for? I have no idea. I felt like an archeologist, slowly digging into the layers of living habits of a people long forgotten, only the people is me.

blackleP.S. As a nod to Earth hour, I have discovered Blackle, compliments of my daughter. I had NEVER heard of it, and it is simply put, a dark google search page which uses lots less energy because the page is mostly black. How about that??

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What are you doing this weekend???? Hmmmm?
March 28, 2008

Well, let’s see….there are several things on my itinerary this weekend….most of which are want-tos, not have-tos….you know what I mean.  Here are a few things I’m doing, in no particular order….

recipe-Cooking Devil’s Chicken Thighs. This is a recipe I found from Sunday Suppers at Lucques on the New York Times website. And since have a particular fondness for chicken thighs..they are always so succulent really, never dry like chicken breasts….it sounds like an unusual preparation, with tarragon, Dijon mustard, and red chilies! I’ll try to take a picture.

-Trying out a new restaurant I read about in Catonsville….Catonsville Gourmet. Sounds very good…lots of seafood with a carryout too. I’ll let you know what it’s like!

-Watch at least one of 3 moviesI have in from netflix….the doc Helvetica, which is supposed to be very interesting about how helvetica type cam to be, but may be a hard sell at home, Life with Dan-funny-, and Material Girls, which I got in by mistake. That’s what happens when you don’t pay attention to your queue. I wanted get it for my daughter’s spring break, but she’s long gone back to school. For some odd reason, I hate sending a movie back unwatched. Like I’m wasting something.(I know, odd.)

-See a movie out….not sure what, but in case you haven’t seen The Bank Job…I loved it. Funny, smart, good action….what’s not to like?

Oh, and maybe some gardening…always something to do this time of year. Come on spring!

What are you doing this weekend….Hmmmmm?

Smoothing out a dreary, chilly day….
March 27, 2008

It really is just one of those days…..after another tease of spring, back to drizzle, and much worse, the cold. I’m just sooooooo ready for spring. Tired of coats, tired of scarves, tired of having to wear tights….I’m just ready for some warmth.

picBut here’s something that makes me feel a little better….SomaFM. It’s an on-line commercial free radio station that has lots of channels with funny names. Like The Drone Zone (Served best chilled, safe with most medications), Boot Liquor(Americana roots music with a bit of attitude ), and my favorite, Groove Salad (a nicely chilled plate of ambient beats and grooves). I wish you could listen with me right now…..oh wait, you can!!

grooveListening to a song right now called My Friend by Richard Dorfmeister vs. Madrid de la Austrias. Yeah, I know. I’ve never heard of them either. But kinda cool though.

A Day In New York
March 25, 2008

Miss me yesterday on the news? No? Whatever….I was in New York for the day after a busy, busy Sunday…

The day started early….up before 5 am(soooooo much earlier than my usual start to the day) to catch a 6:30 train to the Big Apple. Photographer Chuck Cochran  met there at the train station…me, as usual, with only moments to spare. I really don’t liketo stand around at the airport or the train station, so  I try to cut it as close as I can, but yesterday….well, let’s just say it was good the Acela was a couple of minutes late. Still, all’s well that ends well, right?

sarnoWe were on our way to talk to Dr. John Sarno of the Rusk Institute at NYU…he’s 84, but  an energetic 84…and has written four books and countless articles about the mind-body connection…how our brains can often be the source of much of the pain we feel in our backs, and elsewhere. Chronic back pain, migraines, all caused by something going on in our brains. He was fascinating….that story will be on in May….I think you’ll find it quite interesting.

One of his patients was there to speak with us (also a fascinating interview), and Stephanie directed us to a  place for a late lunch…called Artisanal Bistro at 2 Park Avenue, and we were starving it must be saidmenu…as we hadn’t had much breakfast. Obviously my eyes are glued on the menu. Now, if you’ve never straggled into  a nice restaurant with a photographer and all his gear in tow, then let me tell you how it is. Perhaps something like coming in with 3 toddlers, or maybe a couple of bikers…..the looks from the maitre’d and hostess…ummm…kind of sideways glances as if to say , “Do we really have to seat these people and what will we do with all  their stuff?” Thank goodness for coatrooms, though Mr. Camera, which isn’t small, goes everywhere we do. (Expensive you know…it wouldn’t do to come back and report to the boss….oh, by the way, we lost the camera in New York.)

But we finally get to a table, plunk down in our seats and heave a big sigh, make Mr. Camera comfy, and look over the menu….if you like cheese, you’ll be in heaven, after all it is a fromagerie…says so on the sign. Endless cheese flights(groupings of cheese tastings, not  cheese flying through the air, thank goodness)…and on another day I might have had one…but today it’s just lunch. As beet lovers,(seriously what are the odds that two people at lunch would both like beets?), we both choose the beet, endive, walnut and goat cheese salad, and it is divine. Really, really good. I mean, if you’re gonna go to New York, the least you can do is have a nice lunch, oui?

Then we cab it back to Penn Station, haul the gear on-board the train(OK, Chuck did the hauling but I did hold the doors),catch the Acela back to Baltie…and I went to sleep, even listening to Kanye West on my nano. That seems impossible I know, but there it is. Shows what early rising will do for you.

Training my brain….
March 21, 2008

I get the funniest things in the mail…and sometimes, messages by emails.  Like one from Andrea at a company called LUMOSITY

brainThey do brain games to improve your memory. Andrea wrote and asked if I would like a trial account, in hopes I would do at least what I’m doing right now…blogging about it, and even better, do a television story about the company. Sorry about the story.

Still , it is quite interesting…you have all kinds of warm-ups to kind of get the hang of the games…and honestly, I needed it. There was one where you click on the bird when it appears and at the same time remember the letter that was in the center of the page. Sounds easy enough, and it is when you get the hang of it. But remembering to remember what the letter before you look away and click on the bird, at which time the letter disappears, is a bit tricky at first.

misedHere’s what happens when you either miss the bird, cause your eyes have stayed on the letter in the middle trying to remember it rather than actually clicking on where the bird is, which disappears after about a second and a half.

Yeah, that’s embarrassing, since I think my memory is pretty darn good. Excellent, even. But there are times I feel kind of like I’m just lurching from one crisis to the next. Ever feel like that? Like you never feel like everything is organized and you can just…..relax.   Ahhh, what a nice feeling that would be. Not that that has anything to do with my memory. In fact, if I could just forget all the stuff bugging me that I haven’t done, I might be happier?

Anyway, I’m working on it. Hope everyone has a marvelous holiday weekend, even if is freezing cold. It’s pansy covering time…

A landslide of cake….
March 18, 2008

clownI hope clowns don’t creep you out…seriously, they do some people. There are those of us who are scared of clowns…not me, of course.  This little clown(head) was one of many, on top of a very big cake….again , one of many that come into the WBAL-TV newsroom. If someone wants to publicize something, it seems they  automatically think….”Send a cake. Wait a minute, make it a BIG cake.”

And they do. At least once or twice a week, sometimes more, cakes come cascading into the newsroom, a virtual landslide of cakes in every flavor, but most often innocuous vanilla…that publicize everything from golf tournaments to walks for charity to, in this case, the circus. Yes, the circus is in town….you can see over the clown’s head what the dates are.

cakeI have come to be almost immune to cake publicity…unless it is a very, very good cake. You know, real buttercream, not the fluffy stuff that most cakes sport. But I will give this one points for creative flair on top. Someone could take all the clown heads(creepy) and plastic balloon bunches and make one heck of a kid’s birthday cake.  I may go get them right now.

eaterBut for every person who doesn’t eat the cake, there are two, no make that three,  who will…here’s a happy person in search of a sugar fix right now!!  Let them eat cake…..

This and That….
March 17, 2008

This is my first day back from vacation in Charleston where it was sunny and WARM, and beautiful…I have a lot to tell you about that visit, but it’s Monday, and I have  car trouble(welcome home DH), and loads of emails I haven’t even looked at yet. So let me just say, I’m glad to be back….no, no, no, no….no one will believe that. How about…. I’m sanguine about it….hah! Go look that one up!

As for reader responses to blog entries….yes you are right , I left out Valerie Bertinelli’s name…it was her. And no, I did not carry the iron man with me on vacation. It seemed rather torturous.

As far as when we at WBAL-TV are going high def, I think I know, but I’m not “at liberty” to divulge such top secret information. Hey…when I know for sure that I won’t get fired for telling you, I’ll tell you OK? But here’s a hint…..it will be this year. Or as I was told…”It is our goal to be high definition by the end of 2008.” I know, lousy hint, but soon come man, soon come.

Becoming an Ironwoman…
March 10, 2008

I was watching the Ellen Degeneres Show while in the makeup room the other day, or maybe it was Oprah, but Ellen probably….she was talking about how she walks every day…as do I. OK, most days….

Anyway, she and her husband put on vests with weight in them, that adds to your workout, and helps you burn more calories. Brilliant, I thought…and immediately set about casting about on the interent for something similar. Are there options? Yes  indeed there are. Many.

I finally chose the Ironman….it looks like suspiciously like a flak jacket or a policemans  bulletproof vest, or maybe a fishing vest vest, with tons of little pockets with little packs of weights that one puts in the pockets. These are to weigh you down and make your walk miserable, I’m guessing.

But hey, I’m game….so I ordered the sucker. It was on my front porch a few days later. Could I pick up the box to get it inside? No. The mailman must have wondered what on earth so heavy could be inside such a rather small box. Finally wrestled it through the door.

pic Here’s what it looks like on. Extremely attractive, oui? I’ll let you know how it works out when actually on a walk….we’ll see.

The Cat/Heart Connection….
March 6, 2008

OK did you see the same article I saw? The one in the Baltimore Sun, (but originally came from the L.A. Times), about the effect a cat has on your health. Get this….cat owners have a lower risk of dying from a heart attack!! Seriously, I’m not making this up, non-cat owners have a 40 % greater risk have dying from a heart attack than cat owners do.

Why? No clue. No clue at all.  Personally, I think cat owners are more discerning and intelligent than everyone else….oh, did I just say that? OK, not really…but cats are very intelligent animals, and often quite picky. muffyMuffy, my lovely calico cat, likes her cat food the chunky kind, not ground. I have to vary the flavors…she likes it warmed for 9 seconds in the microwave, then sprinkled with dry cat food over the top. Now some of you will say, “You don’t know she wants her food warmed, that’s just some strange thought in your own head.” Maybe there is bit of projection there, I won’t deny it.  But she eats delicately, a nibbler and often…that’s healthy, I think.

baby girlNow Baby Girl…there’s a different story. I don’t know if she was starved as a kitten…hope not…but when I put her food down, and it could be anything really, (haven’t found something she doesn’t like), she scarfs it uplike a vaccum cleaner. More like a dog eats. Now you see it , now you don’t. Seriously, when I put down dry cat food, she grabs for the box as I take it away. I don’t think she even chews . That can’t be good for her, but I don’t know how to slow the process.

The lead researcher said about their study, “There isn’t enough evidence to recommend [getting a cat] as a standard practice. ” Yeah, but it can’t hurt! Save yourself a heart attack, and save a cat at the same time!!

Cats rule!

P.S. I thought later, it must also be said that cats do have the power to break your heart. For those of you who have lost a beloved pet, you know what I mean. I still miss Wild Kitty. Oh, and the only reason dogs weren’t included in this study, was there were too few people in this particular population who owned them. I would guess they have the same heart-healthy effect. So….dogs rule too.

Our new blog site….Love it!
March 5, 2008

OK, in the past many of you have heard me grouse about blogger.com…how we couldn’t post our pictures easily anymore…the achieves were missing, things wouldn’t be posted for hours…..it just didn’t work right, OK? And it really didn’t seem that anyone there cared…at all.

Soooooooo, now we have a new site called WordPress.com! Not only is it easier to post stuff…it’s prettier….and quick to respond, and readers can respond as well. Keep in mind they will be approvedfirst, so we don’t end up with bad words on our website…you know how it is….but I like it.  I drink blogger’s milkshake ….I drink it up!!

See ya!