Category Archives: Did you ever notice..?

Viva La Resolution

Standard

   First, Happy New Year! It’s cold today, the sun is shining brilliantly, and everyone is back to work. Working in TV, it never really seems like the holidays because there are always newscasts. And although we didn’t travel home for Christmas this year, we had a wonderful one here and a great New Year’s Eve get together with friends at our house. Santa was good to us and just spending a couple days together does good things for my soul. I do get melancholy though when it’s all over. Do you? The tree is down, the lights are put away, there aren’t any more cards coming in the mail. It’s over for another year. Driving home last night from work the neighborhood seemed oddly dark with everyone’s Christmas lights either off or down. It was a stark reminder that now we must face the arduous task that is January. Is this why people make resolutions? To give them something to power through the post-holiday blahs? To make them feel as if this new year really is a new start and not just another day? I’m not a big resolution maker. I work all year to accomplish many things and have never really singled out something big at the start to tackle. I know I will not work out more. I’m certain I won’t eat better. I do want to enter some stories for Emmy awards this year. I had a good 2011 in the reporting department, thank you. I’d like to get to the beach this year. Read this year. Walk my dogs. Laugh with my daughter. See ‘Contagion’ (I love a good global epidemic movie!) Call my grandmother more. Host an Oscars party (I love the Oscars!)  And then I’ll figure out what to in February!! Are these everday things resolutions? I guess maybe they are. To me they are simply the stuff that makes up a good year. My birthday just happens to fall during this holiday hangover month. I resolve to eat a nice dinner and drink too much wine to celebrate. The Mayans believed this year is the one in which our world ends. I’m sure we’ll still be here in 2013 but if by chance they were onto something, I wouldn’t change the things I want to do. Isn’t that the perfect resolution?

What do you want to do in 2012?

 

On My Mind Tonight 11-8-11

Standard

    How easily your path can change because of someone else’s words. Whether what his accusers say is true or not, Herman Cain will not become President now.

    Can you imagine how stressful being President must be? We watch these men age before our eyes.

    Speaking of aging, my tween daughter is growing up too fast. With her fringe boots and cute dress today, she looked like a young woman heading to school.

     She has an opportunity to take the A-C-T college entrance exam this winter as a 7th grader through a program with Duke University. I could not be more proud of her.

     I can’t rememer what I scored on either the A-C-T or the S-A-T. Can you?

     The fall weather has been spectacular. My favorite time of year.

     A saleswoman at Nordstrom today said and I quote “Hugo Boss sizes run small so if that dress doesn’t fit, it’s the dress, not you.” Guess what? I wasn’t worried that it would be me. I would have just grabbed a different size. And we wonder why women have such a complex about their dress size.

      I love that we newswomen have gotten away from the man’s blazer uniform that has been the norm for years. I still have a few suits but its nice to wear dresses on the air. It’s okay to be a woman in a man’s world.

      I’m really not a fan of the stick figure family stickers people have on their cars. Or the family of sea turtles representing the family members. Or the family of flip-flops. Although I did see one the other day and the stick figure had wings and I assumed it was a family member who had passed and I thought that was kind of sweet.

      It’s still one step above the strange vanity license plate though.

      Although I do love a good bumper sticker.

     My favorite of all time “HONK IF YOU LOVE PEACE AND QUIET.”

      The production crew, whom I affectionately refer to as my ‘production posse’, brought Dunkin’ Donuts ‘munchkins’ to the studio today. They are my posse for a reason.

      The ‘overweight lover’ Heavy D died today. Me and my best friend Kari listened to his music throughout college. He was only two years older than I am now.

     As the proud owner of an iPad and reader of Steve Jobs biography, I am now an Apple convert.

    Jobs was a real jerk. A brilliant, charismatic jerk.

    The Apple ad “Here’s to the crazy ones” still gives me goosebumps.

    I’m not one of the crazy ones. I wish I was. I’m so grateful though that people who think different do exist. Makes life infinitely more interesting.

    Time to ‘face time’ my daughter and tuck her in. Where there once was a phone call, now I can look into that sweet sleepy face before I go on the air every night.

    That’s my kind of crazy.

     Your turn.

On my mind tonight

Standard

   Why don’t we name earthquakes like we do hurricanes? Could be fun.

   The low humidity today was such a nice reprieve from this oppressive summer.

   Please make it last until the football game this Saturday so my little cheerleader doesn’t suffer.

   Ate too much barbecue tonight for dinner. Hole-in-the-wall place. Oustanding.

   TV people are weird.

   Isn’t it fun to know weird people?

   I love my i-Pad. I’m using the word love about an inanimate object.

  Speaking of inanimate objects, I want to tell the entire reporting staff, you cannot ask an inanimate object a question. It cannot say or think anything. You also cannot evacuate people, only places. Well. you can evacuate a person. But you don’t want to.

  “True Blood” and “Entourage” were good Sunday night. Glad to see storylines are picking up.

  Everyone’s raving about ‘The Help.” Is it worth reading or seeing? 

  Watched the actors’ and director’s commentary for “Seven” this weekend. Did you know they spent $50,000 on those spooky opening credits?

   I don’t know which gets tired faster after a busy news day – my eyes or my ears. My vision is blurry right now and my right ear aches. See, TV is glamourous.

  I just used my desk dictionary to look up glamourous. I have had this dictionary since my first reporting job in 1992. You will not find the words ‘sexting’ or ‘mankini’ in its pages.

   ‘Sexting’ and ‘mankini’ were added to Oxford’s Dictionary today.

   I have Labor day off.

   But not Christmas.

   More TV glamour.

   I seem to always glance at a clock when it reads 9:11. Is this significant? Or is it just because of the significance of those numbers that I seem to remember looking at a clock?

  My little muffin just called to say goodnight. There is nothing sweeter than her voice. I think it actually soothed my aching ear.

   I will be deaf in my right ear as an old woman. I’m sure of it.

   Someone just cooked a Lean Cuisine. I know the smell of microwaved cardboard.

   Need to go brush my teeth before promos. Remember, I had BBQ.

   Oh crap, I also need gas. Hate filling up in midtown after midnight.

   Antwan’s here. Promo time.

   Your turn.

For better or worse

Standard

   It began five months ago as a passing mention – “Maybe we should finish the basement.” “Yep, maybe we should.” And with not much more discussion we were interviewing contractors and making up wish lists of what we each wanted out of this new floor or our home. Our daughter wanted room for a ballet barre and gymnastics mat. My husband wanted a different kind of bar and a pool table. I wanted a dog bath for our pets. Plans were drawn, people were hired, colors were chosen, adjustments were made – and soon the concrete floors and exposed beams were transformed into usable rooms with a bar, a pool table, a gymnastics mat, and yes, even a dog bath. In 18 years of marriage and home ownership, it is the largest project we’ve tackled. The fact that we’re still married says something. Several friends have gotten married this spring and summer and I’m convinced, now more than ever, that the vows should include a line about being able to complete a project together. You haven’t loved someone unless you’ve fought for 30 minutes about whether a door should open out of or into a room. Unless you’ve stood staring at each other, sweaty, and glassy-eyed, not out of passion, but out of a burning desire to stab your betrothed with a Phillips head screwdriver because you’re not holding the pool rack level on the wall so he can drill holes to mount it. No amount of pre-marital counseling or weekends at the ‘engaged encounter’ (of which he and I are proud graduates!) will prepare you for the mind-numbing decisions you will be forced to agree upon. Ever think about the color of your outlet face plates? Spent a day at Home Depot discussing whether they should match the wall or the trim? Then, I’m sorry, you can’t get married yet. You’re just not ready. Money issues? Puh-lease. Children? Easy. You want to impress me, renovate something and still kiss each other good night.

As for us, our rings are still firmly in place. And the hands they are on will be joined this weekend as we sit in our new basement, on our new super cool reclining couches, sipping drinks poured from our new bar. To have and to hold from this day forward. Or until we renovate our bathroom next year.

The Thundershirt!

Standard

      Atlanta can put on one heck of a show in the summertime with severe pop-up thunderstorms that feature torrential rain, hail, 60 mph wind, lightning strikes, and ear-splitting claps of thunder. The afternoon can seem benign, maybe a little on the warm side, and then boom! these nasty suckers show up right on top of you and beat you up for about ten minutes. I rather like storms, provided no one is hurt and nothing is damaged, especially ones that douse a hot day. My dog Henry, however, does not. He’s a beautiful dog. Golden hair, big brown eyes, perfectly black nose, and big, about 80 pounds. He could easily take down a grown man if he had that kind of temperment but one crack of thunder and he’s whimpering beside you. He shakes, whines, and looks at you like ‘do something about this, would ya?’  On a recent flight I was thumbing through Sky Miles magazine and spotted something I found hilarious, not only because of the clever name but because of the image of a dog wearing it. It’s called the Thundershirt. It’s stretchy and has velcro and wraps around your animal tightly, kind of like when you swaddle a newborn, although the dog’s legs and tail remain free. And it promises to calm your pet during a storm, during fireworks (something else Henry doesn’t care for), and allow them to nod off while the sky is crackling overhead. I was skeptical at first. It’s a shirt. For dogs. How does this work? But after an internet search, my credit card number, and 5-7 business days, I’ll be dog-gone if it doesn’t. The snug fit and warmth must make him feel secure. Now when the sky darkens and our radar here at work lights up, we wrap Henry up in his Thundershirt and he jumps up on his couch and falls asleep. Isn’t that something? Wish I’d thought of it.

Summertime

Standard

    When I was a kid summer meant unerelenting west Texas heat. Cactus needles. Scorpions. Fire ants. Flash flooding. Tumbleweeds. It was tough out there. You had nothing to do and all day to do it. Mom kicked me out of the apartment after breakfast and didn’t expect me back until dinner. Her only warning was to not play in the giant concrete pipes in the culverts that served as a massive drain in case of flash flooding. Guess where we headed first? These pipes were so large you could stand up in them and walk for almost a mile. When it was dry, as it most often was, they were empty, maybe a few leaves and bugs, but  deserted. And they were cool, the concrete blocking out the sun that shone for 14 hours a day it seemed. I can’t really remember what we did in there. Built forts? Pretended it was our cave? Time has erased that part of this memory. I do remember some pretty graphic graffiti spray painted on one of them. Graffiti I was too young  to understand. I get it now and it’s actually kinda funny. If me and my friends weren’t disobeying our parents in the culverts we were walking around the town, through neighborhoods, into the grocery store, across the school play yard, into empty swimming pools, over crumbling fences, and on top of mounds of dirt and rock at the local landscaping place. What happened to those times? My daughter does not venture beyond our subdivision. Her hands do not get dirty often. I know where she is and with whom and when she will return – all the time. I have never stood on our porch and hollered her name as a signal that it was time to come home and eat dinner. I miss that innocence. That sense of adventure and exploration I had as a kid. Sure, it sucked a lot. I have had sunburns the American Medical Association might use in a textbook. I have had a cactus needle pierce the sole of my shoe go through my foot and out the top through the laces. I slashed open one foot and almost lost the big toe on another while walking barefoot through the rain filled gutter. (Didn’t see that broken coke bottle.) I’ve sat on rocks in the river and gotten leeches where you don’t want leeches. We were poor. It was sweltering hot. The apartment building pool was crowded and dirty. But we were never bored. My daughter complains of being bored. There’s nothing on TV she says. I need a new videogame. My friends are busy. Go outside. Get dirty. Find bugs. Go where I tell you not to. I promise if you do, these will become among your most cherished memories. Playing hopscotch in the street, eating popsicles, having foot races in the neighborhood, laying in the grass counting the millions of stars in the Texas sky. Hearing your mom’s voice  just as the sun starts to set. That is summer.

On Aging

Standard

   Today is my 42nd birthday. Seems weird to be entering my forties. Some days I can feel every minute that brought me here. Others I marvel at where the time went. In the studio the other night the crew and I were discussing age during a commercial break. (One of our more tame topics. But that’s a blog for another day!) The question posed was this: If you could choose one age to be for the rest of your life, what would it be? My initial answer was 30. Good age. You’re still active. Still able to have children. Not yet middle age but not considered too young. Everyone in the studio chose an age in in the 20’s. But then they are all in their 20’s and it’s all they’ve known. I’m changing my answer. To 40. It’s a great place to be. I feel more content at this age than any other. I feel comfortable being honest with people. I am not afraid of what people think of me. I feel more empathy, more compassion, and yet still feel able to cut through the b.s. I know what it is to have success. And to lose it. To love people. And lose them. I’ve learned how to give my answer to a question and not the answer I think someone wants to hear. I’ve learned how to prioritize. And it’s amazing when you realize how unimportant most of the stuff you spent your 20’s worrying about and your 30’s trying to make happen – is. I wasn’t a child who dreamed of a certain life for myself. I didn’t think much about my wedding or how many children I wanted to have. I knew I wanted to be a dancer. But I found out early on I wasn’t thin enough or good enough and playing “Cassie” from “A Chorus Line” in my dad’s basement or making up routines to ‘Down on the Corner” by Creedence Clearwater Revivial for my mom would have to suffice. But I was a pretty sharp kid and my knack for storytelling and in turn, broadcasting reared it’s head in high school. Hard work, timing and a lotta luck helped me fill in the blanks. The modest wedding at a young age. The birth of a healthy daughter at 30. The rest of it just – happened. One of my favorite movie lines comes from an unlikely source, the film “Knocked Up” and the actor playing Seth Rogen’s dad, Harold Ramis, tells him “Life doesn’t care about your plans.” True. God knows I’ve made mistakes and disappointed people I care about, made bad decisions, said or did things I wish I could take back. But after 40 years I’ve learned to forgive myself and hope in turn others forgive me too. So at the risk of sounding self-indulgent I want to wish that 12 year old girl a happy birthday and tell her – you didn’t become a dancer – but you did alright.

“Oh Snow You Didn’t!”

Standard

      Atlanta is still in the grips of one of the worst snow and ice storms in at least ten years. I’m going to throw out some numbers here so if your brain handles math like mine – proceed with caution. 6-8 inches of snow. An inch of ice. Four days (so far). Millions out of school or not working. 34 1/2 hours of television coverage (also so far). 40 rooms booked at the nearby Twelve (another number so I had to add it!) hotel. Hundreds of pizzas and Chick-Fil-A sandwiches and bagels and chips consumed by ravenous news people. *

*News people, especially ravenous ones, will eat anything. I once worked with a weather guy who had a giant cookie in his trunk for six months. You know the kind you get at the mall? He brought that tired, cold, stale ol’ thing into the newsroom one day. It was gone in 30 seconds. We’re like locusts.

All of those numbers have added up to an exhausting and yet exciting week. It’s all about attitude isn’t it? If you realize there’s not a thing you can do about the weather. That you must, must take it slow if you have to be out in it. That this happens so rarely. That our wonderful viewers depend on us to tell them about weather and road conditions. Then you’ll be able to get through it. It’s bitterly cold now and I blogged earlier in the winter about how much that sucks. My opinions on the matter have not changed. It’s pretty miserable and it’s making the ice and snow stick around longer than anyone wants. My daughter is loving it. Although she is using a boogie board to sled on. Hey, you use what you’ve got.

There’s been a lot of hand wringing and question asking lately about how can a city the size of Atlanta not be prepared for something of this magnitude. Simple. 5 million people. 10 snow plows. Why would you spend money on plows and sanders and road crews that may sit idle for ten years? Doesn’t make sense. And we would be ticked off if our tax dollars paid for it anyway. So, we deal with it best we can when it does hit. You know the best part of something like this? The sort of ‘we’re all in this together’ feeling you get from fellow Atlantans. I mean most of us are from somewhere else so we’re not native Atlantans. But, the shared experience of a challenge, of something that forces you to stand back in awe of a power you have no control over. When the snow starting falling on Sunday night, it was so beautiful and quiet and it lit up the city. And people stood at their windows and doors and on their back decks and watched as nature gently reminded us of our place in the world.

Now, get this crap off the road!

Southern fried deep freeze

Standard

 Sounds like a tasty dessert, doesn’t it? I wish. I’m describing the weather in Atlanta. What in the world happened outside? We live in the south for a reason. So we don’t have to shovel snow or chop firewood (read: turn on the gas fireplace) or wear an unreasonable amount of clothing. We set a new record this morning with a low of 14. The wind chill made it much colder. I grew up in west Texas and we just didn’t have weather like this. Now, I did move to Washington as a teenager and we did have weather like this but I’m ignoring that so I can continue my rant. And this rant includes clever observations about the cold: 1) It makes our dogs CRAZY. After a quick trip outside to take care of business, they come back in the house actin’ all hyper, running up the stairs and down the stairs and barking and chasing each other. It’s pretty funny. 2) It deters any sort of outdoor holiday decorating. We have four lighted reindeer and a plastic tub full of those net lights sitting in what my husband calls a ‘staging area’ near the front door. I doubt they will ever grace the yard. Last night he suggested just plugging them in inside the foyer but it was freaky looking.  3) My car screams. Literally screams when I turn it over. Okay, maybe it’s more of a high pitched whine. And the streering wheel groans and the heater on full blast sounds like a dying jet engine. Makes for a fun ride home from work at midnight. 4) My cute winter coat I picked up in Italy while on vacation is not sufficient. Oh it’s adorable with a high collar and little rosettes on the lapel but woefully inadequate even for the 30 seconds of walking from my car into work. Plus, the high collar now has lipstick on it as I try to bury my heavily made-up TV face into it. 

I realize this kind of weather is short lived in Atlanta. I realize we don’t have to deal with snow. I realize that not a month ago we had record highs for November. But the cold makes you forgot that stuff, doesn’t it? Cold whittles away everything else and leaves you with on singular purpose – getting warm. 

Now if North Face could make a cute jacket with rosettes….

Kindle Curiousity

Standard

   My husband bought me a Kindle – Amazon’s e-reader – for Christmas.  I am a voracious reader. Newspapers, magazines, web articles, but mainly books.  I love books.  I love hanging out in bookstores finding them.  I love the way they feel and smell and there are a few that get re-read every year just because I love the stories in them so much.  So the thought of reading books on an electronic screen seemed odd at first. No pages to turn, no dogeared corners, nothing to put on my bookshelves.  Stories on a tablet, about the size of an 8 x 10 picture, less than an inch thick. I’m mid-way through my fourth book  on the Kindle and I love it.  I find I read more and faster on it. I get lost in the words easier than I did with a book. When you’re holding a book, you’re always aware of where you are in it. With the Kindle, the words keep spilling from screen to screen until I’ve amazed myself and finished another book.  But here’s the weird part of my new toy.  Everyone is curious about it.  If I pull it out during a solo dinner and read during my meal, two or three people will stop by and ask me about it, “Do I like it?” “Do I miss books?” etc.  If I have it out at the nail salon people gather around and what to hold it, look at it, question its features.  I’ve never owned anything that drew such a crowd.  Maybe it’s our fascination with the latest technology.  Maybe it’s just strange to see someone engrossed in what looks like a giant I-pod.  Whatever the reason, I happily answer questions, hand it over for a test run, and sing its praises. Sometimes I feel as if Amazon should cut me a check.  Invariably the curious want to know if I think e-readers will replace books.  No. I don’t.  Books  have been with us a looooong time. TV didn’t kill radio, DVD’s haven’t killed going to the movies, downloaded music hasn’t killed the CD (yet), and none of those has been around a fraction of the time.  Books will be okay in my humble opinion. I still buy them. Sometimes you just want to pull out a paperback and not answer any questions.