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Archive for May, 2010

preview race

Monday, May 31st, 2010

One of my favorite events since moving to Charlotte is Speed Week.  For my group of friends and me, it means a week of activities – culminating with Sunday night’s big race, the Coca Cola 600.  I’m working on my Race Week blog post.  It will include some fun surprises including the definition of “yupneck,” a portmanteau we created.  That post won’t be ready until midweek due to travel back to Boston and work.  For now I give you a preview.  This is video of our neighbors at Charlotte Motor Speedway setting up camp.  It’s 8 minutes of video condensed into one minute.  Enjoy!

tv ready

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

fresh out of the shower

When I’m in the field or at a high school career day, the second question I often get after, “Can I be on TV” is “Does someone do your hair and makeup?”  Sadly the answer to both questions is no.  Well often “no” to the first one and a definitely “no” to the second one.

me with makeup and hair done

Network level anchors, think Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, and Barbara Walters – they have makeup and hair people.  For most of the rest of us local news folks, we’re on our own.

Somewhere along the line someone, likely at a makeup counter, showed us (TV news people) how to apply TV makeup, which before HD, just meant a lot of it.  First there was the pan-cake stuff.  Max Factor made them.  They came in a stick that you would swipe across your forehead, cheeks, nose and chin and then blend.  Then many of us moved onto MAC.  I remember sitting at Nordstrom’s MAC counter at the Santa Anita Mall in California trying to remember what the woman was doing to my face and praying I could duplicate it.  There were eyebrow pencils, a heavy-duty cream foundation followed by a powder foundation, three shades of shadow, a lip liner, a lipstick, mascara, blush, and eyeliner.  I actually worked at a station where a consultant told all the anchors to wear fake eyelashes.  They were fun, though a bit much, but I had to stop when I developed an allergic reaction to the adhesive.  To be honest I’m still envious of those who still wear them and wear them well.

When High Definition came into play we had to refigure makeup.  It changed from heavy foundation to cover everything to specially made makeup for HD, which covered little. The foundation was more transparent.  HD shows overly made up faces so colors for your cheeks and lips need to be more natural shades (so I’m told).

So this is what it takes to get me from the shower to in front of a camera.

Here are the products I currently use: a Smashbox primer, Make Up Forever’s HD Foundation, Make Up Forever’s HD powder.  Then I fill in my brows with Shu Uemura eyebrown pencil in Seal Brow, highlight my brow bone with a Bobbi Brown shadow in White.  Next I brush a few strokes of Bobbi Brown’s shadow in Champagne on my lids, followed by brushing MAC shadow in Mystery into the creases.  I follow with a line to the top of my lashes with a MAC liquid liner in black then finish with several coats of Rimmel’s Glam’Eyes mascara.  I use Bobbi Brown’s blush in Apricot.  I usually use a bit of a bronzer as I tend to look washed out.  I’ve tried several, but I’m currently using Tarte in Park Ave Princess.  If it’s a reporting day for me I use MAC’s Pro Longwear lipcolour in Passion Preserved (it stays on for about 8 hours).  If I’m on set I use Bobbi Brown’s lip gloss in Tawny Rose.  It’s now discontinued so if you see any out there, let me know so I can stock up!

Now to the hair.  As you’ve seen in a previous post, there’s some craziness when in comes to my hair.  I’ve loved many of the styles.  I didn’t particularly like the early years, but I think that’s when I thought news people had short coiffed hair and the general manager at my station at the time also preferred us to have short hair.  It’s tough to battle those two forces.  My two favorites — the wavy do with near-blonde highlights from the Fox days (thank you Genevieve at Salon Marc Harris on Newbury Street) and my current cut which is a more modern angular bob with subtle highlights (thank you Donald at Carmen, Carmen in Cotswald).  While with Genevieve, I used tons of Bumble and Bumble products, which I loved, I can’t remember all of the products I used.  And with Donald, up until recently, he used Aveda products in my hair.  I love the Phomollient and the Air Control.  He also implored me to use a straightener for the ends of my hair.

For all those wondering why there’s so much big hair on TV, it’s because we’re 2-dimensional on your screen, so fuller hair gives us more depth.

past proms

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Last week I got to see my nephew off to his prom and it inspired me to look back a few years (several) to my own.  Then I thought it would be fun to get other folks’ prom pictures.

Let’s take a look.  Here’s my senior prom picture.  What do you think of the gold lame’ and red satin?  I actually wore gold shoes.

The year before, I went to my then-boyfriend’s senior prom.  I don’t know what I was thinking to be honest.  White velvet and blue satin with gloves?  Really?!  The saddest part, I designed both dresses (along with many others).  My mother is a seamstress and for every dance I’d pick the material and tell her what I wanted.  These, sadly, were what I came up with.  As my friend Tim once told me, leave the designing to the professionals.

These are hubby’s prom pictures.  I actually contacted his old girlfriend from his Facebook page and asked for them.  When friends saw the pictures, they thought he and his date looked like siblings with the feathered hair. Please also notice the gloves he’s wearing! Nice touch, right?!

This is a picture of my friend Alicia with her date, Shawn, at the senior prom.  Shawn remembers way more about that night than I do.  He reminded me that, “We had pre-game at Alicia’s, post-game at the Anaheim Hyatt, and we played Pictionary with you and Josh.”  I remember the Pictionary.  I want to say Josh and I won, but I could be totally making that up!

Beth sent me this one and said, “I can’t believe I had that much hair – but Dominic looked so dapper! We went to the prom together even though I was dating James.”

This is Penni with her current boyfriend.  She said, “This was pre-prom dinner at my house.  He wasn’t my date, but we starting dating, probably, the next day.”

Here’s what Tom remembered about his prom, “We left my crazy friend in charge of getting the limo, and this awful limo pulled up. We called it the Cruella Deville limo because it had 2 spare tires on the side of the limo for decoration like Cruella’s car.  I also remember hooking up with my friend’s prom date while my date hooked up with some other guy.  Years later I hooked up with my original prom date… and did for years after that… I always thought that was ironic.  After the prom we went to my grandparents’ old beach house and partied all weekend.  It was awesome, and it was the last time all of us were together for the most part before we all left for college.”

Erinn took us back to 1999.  She said, “Gotta love the foil stars on fishing wire backdrop. The photographer really went all out on that one!”

Katie went to her junior prom in 2001 and senior prom the following year.  She then married her high school sweetheart!

Here’s Heather at her senior prom with her then-boyfriend.  She said, “We dated the middle of my senior year of high school to the middle of freshman year of college. He was a year ahead of me so already out of school. The first time I saw him, I thought he was the best looking guy I had ever seen.  He won’t talk to me now.”

Here is an assortment of other prom pictures!  Gotta love pubescent fashion! BTW… It’s not too late to send me your prom pictures.  Click here!


Monday, May 17th, 2010

Update: Send me your prom pix! Click here to submit a picture.  Be sure to include some details or a back story.  I’ll post them along with my old prom pictures that will likely give you a good laugh!!!


“Which one is your child?”

It was an innocent question posed by a 15 year old.  Her sister just boarded a limo along with my nephew and 14 others.  They were headed to the junior prom.  I was in my sister-in-law’s kitchen with several other parents and younger siblings like this astute 15 year old and my niece.  We were all distracting ourselves with food and beverages.

“Which one is your child,” is a fair question.  (Though, it is frightening.  It means I could have a 15, even a 17 year old!)  But why else would I be here?

The truth is I adore my niece and nephew. I came into their lives when they were four and six.  They’re from my husband’s side of the family.  But they’ve been generous enough to make me their aunt for almost nine years.  And today, it was my 17 year old nephew’s junior prom.  I wanted to be part of the crew of parents, grandparents, and godparents who sent him off to the prom.  I wanted to gush with pride at his rise to semi-adulthood.  I’ve long fashioned myself the “cool aunt,” so it shouldn’t be problematic.  But this weekend, without notice, the title was gone.

It started a couple of years ago when my nephew no longer wanted to hang out with his sister and me.  It was sealed when, as he and his date approached, upon seeing my camera, the once jovial look in his eyes was replaced by horror.  I know I didn’t help matters, when in true “me” fashion, I carried on, relentlessly probing him with questions and capturing every move of his momentous day with my camera.

While I felt slighted, I was undeterred.  I snapped away, taking pictures of the scene, the chaos of parents and prom-attending teenagers, the awkwardness of new shoes and clothes, and what looked to be the teenagers’ quiet uneasiness as they were elevated into a new station in life.  They were this much closer to adulthood, freedom.  I imagine it would be an awesome feeling were it not for the uncomfortable shoes and the scratchiness of tuxedoes and gowns.

Prom Circa 1993

Prom, it’s like spring, it rejuvenating.  You see hope and promise in youth.  You imagine uninhibited joy.  You envision the future.

“None of them.  We don’t have children.  I’m LJ and E’s aunt.”  I won’t lie.  I was brimming with pride.  I’m a minor player in their lives but I got to see one of them off on a memorable day in his life.  My “cool aunt” status might have diminished for my nephew but I’m hoping I can still keep the title for a few more years in my niece’s eyes.

i love food

Monday, May 10th, 2010

I love food.  I don’t like to cook but I LOVE to eat.  I find pure joy in discovering something decadent, delectable, yummy!

Recently, hubby and I went to NYC for a serious food weekend.  My friend Gwen’s brother, Chris, is a sous chef at Momofuku Ssam Bar.  It’s a tough reservation to acquire but Gwen’s brother hooked us up; Saturday night at 7:30, primetime!  Now I heard about Momofuku from hubby, because he loves cookbooks and the restaurant group recently put out a cookbook.  But I also heard about chef David Chang when he was featured on NPR.  His interview had me drooling for ramen.

We arrived in the city late Friday night and met up with our friends Dave and Nikki at the Spotted Pig for dinner.  Now if you live in NYC, it seems eating at 11:45pm is probably not common place but it’s also not highly unusual either.  We sat down at the best seat in the house, a corner banquette beneath the chalkboard menu.  Everything read like a page of Saveur.  I was choosing between a pasta or pancetta dish.  I told the waitress about my dilemma.  She talked me through both dishes but I still could not decide so I told her to just surprise me.  And boy was I surprised.  She brought out the pancetta dish, and unlike hubby who remembers every spectacular meal he’s ever had, I can only say this was one of the most delectable dishes I can’t remember much about, except that it was an explosion of flavors.  We also had the BEST deviled eggs ever! (I know, it sounds kind of random but it was midnight and like fried chicken, I’m a connoisseur of deviled eggs.  I must try them if they’re on a menu.)

I was already starting to feel this would be one gluttonous gastronomical weekend.  Hooray!!

The next day, hubby and I decided we’d walk around a little bit but first check out Momofuku’s other restaurant, the noodle house he was talking about on NPR.  I love a big bowl of freshly made noodles.  They have a chewy texture and when steeped in steaming broth, it’s pure comfort.

Hubby’s idea was to get there at 11am, right when it opened.  And when we arrived, there was already a line.  This is a mark of a true cult following or a tourist trap, I was hoping for the former.

We sat down at the bar, ordered some pickled items and each got a bowl of ramen.  It was everything I expected and more.  My Momofuku ramen had a wonderful savory broth and was a perfect balance to the al dente noodles.  I made small perfect bites in my spoon of broth, noodle, and meat.  Hubby ordered the ginger scallion noodle.  It was a dry noodle dish that was a medley of textures; the springiness of the noodles, the crisp cucumbers, and the simplicity of the square of roasted seaweed.  Hubby and I walked out of there with our belly’s full and wishing every city we lived, there would be a noodle soup just like this one.

We walked and shopped (to burn off calories of course) then we cleaned up to head to Momofuku Ssam Bar.  Looking back, I think all of the eating we did prior was just to prepare our stomachs for the extravaganza that was now being presented at our table.  We had cured hamachi, a tripe salad, lo mein with ramps and trout roe, a stuffed quail, and fiji apple kimchi.  Then there were these the steamed buns, each a delicate, soft mantou filled with pork belly, hoisin, cucumbers, and scallions which you then topped with a special house-made spicy sauce.  It was a perfect blend of flavors, taste and textures.  It was about the best thing I’ve ever eaten.  At this point we hadn’t even gotten to the star of the evening, the bo ssam, which was an entire shoulder of pork, slow roasted, and came with a side of raw oysters, kimchi, rice and bibb lettuce.  The final touch, a drizzle of the special spicy sauce and my mouth was salivating for the next bite.

After dinner we went next door to the milk bar where there was an assortment of unique soft serves like cereal milk and red velvet cake.  We all had a sampling but to be honest, we were stuffed.

The next day I woke up still full but still wishing I could have another bite of that pork bun or another slurp of noodles.  Lucky for me, Gwen’s brother had suggested we check out his favorite noodle house, Ippudo, before our drive home.  I was ready.  Again we arrived as it opened and again there was already a line greeting us.  We went in and ordered myriad noodles.  I got the Akamaru Modern, which was rich and aromatic.  Hubby ordered the Shiromaru Hakata Classic, Gwen enjoyed the lighter Tori Ramen and her husband had a noodle dish that I didn’t capture so I don’t remember what it was. (I think he ate it too fast, I’m only half kidding!)

We left there feeling like well fed babies ready for a nap and as we exited we saw the line was three times as long as when we entered.  I wanted to tell them it was worth the wait, but I have a feeling most here in New York City know a good thing when they taste it.  And they are fortunate enough to be able to just keep coming back for more.

marathon anita

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

There are some people in my life who leave me in awe.  One of them is my friend Anita.  She’s an operation room nurse (which is pretty awesome in itself) but she also likes to run.  And she’s fast!  She enjoys the solitude of sole to pavement, the sounds of nature and peace that come with a swift breeze across her face. By the time I finally saw her run the Providence, RI marathon last weekend, she had already conquered 18 others.

Her personal record came in October of 2002, when she ran the Chicago Marathon in 2 hours, 58 minutes and 10 seconds.  She’s an amateur runner who can finish 30 minutes behind the recent female winner of the Boston Marathon.  She basically sprints for 26.2 miles, crossing each mile marker in 6:48 minutes.  I can tell you with absolute certainty, I cannot do one mile in that time, let alone 26.2.

But 19 marathons and a personal best that ranks up there with champion runners was not enough for Anita, her new goal, to run a marathon in all 50 states.  She leaves me breathless, if only because I’m trying to catch up to her speedy pace in life.

playing cupid

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

I love to play cupid.  I get so excited when people are together, happy, and in love.  And when people find their lobsters* – it’s a thrill.

The reality is – I’m not a very good matchmaker.  It’s not for the lack of trying.  (Hubby likes to say, I am very trying!)  Really, anytime someone mentions they’re single my mind starts churning to the other single folks in my cerebral Rolodex.  Then I instantly start texting, emailing or calling to see what, when and where we can get the two together.  Hubby and other close friends tell these kind folks to run but some don’t.  Some have actually let me set them up on dates.

I’m usually working off a short list of folks I’m constantly trying to match.  They’re usually my favorite people.  Recently one of my favorite guys, Scott, married a wonderful girl, Cara, I set him up with.  Which officially gives me two successful matches that have married. Don’t ask about the failures… I’m focused on the positives.

*(A reference to a Friends episode.)