Life in High Definition….
January 5, 2009

There has been much anticipation about the debut of HD here at WBAL-TV…lots of hard work by many people , especially those who work behind the scenes(what else is new?)…long and frequent practice sessions to work the new equipment….after all, it’s not just flipping a switch and everyone does everything just like they did before. I’d explain more about it, but honestly, I don’t understand it. But everything is new and different, OK? Everything. And that takes some getting used to.

Our first broadcast was Saturday night after that fabulous overtime playoff game on NBC (yes, I was bummed at first about the OT thing, but it was a great game)….and who was in the shotgun seat? That’s right, your truly. I thought I’d feel more nervous than I did….but everything went off pretty much without a hitch. Or if there was one, I didn’t see it. But I think I speak for everyone who works in front of the camera, when I say there is a huge collective sense of relief that things are gonna be ok….that we will look ok…maybe better….and there is life after HD. Just breathe.

And for those of you (and there are lots) who don’t have HD, it ain’t no big deal. But when you do get a new set, you’ll see what I mean. My good friend Clare who you may remember from the head shaving post, just got a new tv and cable! She laughingly told me, “We were those people you guys are talking about having rabbit ears and an old set!!” But not anymore…they too, have entered the high def era. At last. So for those of you who are not yet there, we’ll be here waiting for you when you do. And when you do get your set hooked up and the HD signal in…I hope you see something spectacular, like I did when mine was first connected a couple of years ago…the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Wow. I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was. Now, I’m quite the HD snob. It hurts me…physically hurts me to watch a football game notin HD. Sad, isn’t it?

And to those of you who have written in saying we look nice in HD…thanks, from the bottom of my insecure little heart.

(NOTE: You can learn more about our HD set and view photos by going here.

Real Men Wear Blush…..
November 24, 2008

Meterologist John Collins strapped to the makeup chair....smile!

Meterologist John Collins strapped to the makeup chair....smile!

Ah, yes….last week was high-definition makeup class 101 here at WBAL-TV….high def cometh. And certainly around the country there has been everything from dread, to curiosity, to apprehension, to outright panic about the approach of high definition to the newsroom cameras. And makeup will change, but it seems not necessarily as much as we all thought. To put it simply and not bore you with the details, makeup will be lighter, and more blended. most of will probably switch bases to a line called Makeup Forever .  It’s like this. When I leave the studio now and want to go out, I have to take off part of my makeup….it isn’t something I would wear on the street. Now I won’t have to do that….this is a much more natural look. Makeup artist Debi Young also made it painless…and fun….she is so talented having done makeup for many movies and tv shows, and a joyful spirit to be around. That’s a good thing when people are uneasy, and they are uneasy about change.

Look at all the stuff it takes!!

Look at all the stuff it takes!!

I think the females here are totally into it…hey, we’ve been playing with makeup since we were at  our Mother’s knees…getting into the rouge pot, putting on powder with a fluffy puff, smearing on lipstick…it’s a natural thing for us. Not so much for the guys. They’re used to slapping on a little foundation, some powder and hitting the studio. So this this time of self-reflection in the mirror is a little more unnatural.

My friend Gerry Sandusky stopped by last week, and was asking Debi about blush. Surprised, I asked somewhat incredulously, I think, “You wear blush ?”

Not losing a beat, he snapped back, “Yes, Donna, don’t look so surprised…real men wear blush.” And there you  have it. So guys, when you’re looking a little pale, a little wan….thinking that perhaps mid winter, you needa little touch of the sun on the apples of your cheeks, reach for a little blush. Powder, gel, stick….just grab it and apply to said apples. Ummmm, that rosy kiss of health…of youth…of a brisk stroll outdoors. That look can be yours… real men do wear blush…. just keep it light, and for Debi’s sake, don’t forget to blend.

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.