Archive for October, 2006

Football’s Over
October 30, 2006

I survived my first year as a football mom.

Zach’s season ended today in the rain and wind.

Here’s the night when Coach Cowher urged me to let him play. We were at a Project Bundle Up event together.

I argued that Zach was too skinny and practices would conflict with math homework.
But Coach said it would help his confidence and help him enjoy watching the games on t.v. even more.
Turns out Coach was right.

October 28, 2006

I have a confession about stealing something backstage at the Benedum last night.

I was invited to the beautiful opening night performance of Swan Lake. The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre is magical. WTAE is the official media sponsor for this season so I had the opportunity to welcome everyone to the sold out show. The thing I was most excited about was bringing my daughter, Ally to see it for the first time. Of course we brought some friends along to share in the experience.

Before the show I was backstage and got a chance to talk to some of the dancers. Right away, I recognized Alan. I had embarrassed him at a previous ballet benefit when he was forced to dance with me. Let’s just leave it at this: He is a pro… I am not. This is Alan:

Anyway, it was good seeing him again and I learned something new about him. He is known backstage for his homemade cookies. He brought in a big batch of chocolate chip, lemon iced, and peanut butter.
He puts them right by the stage and people munch on them.
I tried one of each. The chocolate chips were my favorite.

Then one of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Board Members started talking to me. He told me to take some to my daughter waiting in the audience with our friends. At first I said no….. I mean, Alan didn’t make these for *us*. But then he insisted. So I wrapped up a bunch and swiped them.
I passed them out to my daughter and friends… and boy were they a hit! I pointed out Alan to the girls and every time he was performing on stage they got so excited!

Dancers: Erin Halloran and Alan Obuzor
Photo: Ric Evans

So Alan, I’m sorry I stole your treats… but you now have a fan club!
My house now has our favorite Steeler, Pirate, Penguin, and Ballet Theatre Dancer!!!

Here is Alan’s bio from the PBT website: Alan Obuzor, a native of Pittsburgh, trained at the PBT School for six years. He was the proud recipient of the Princess Grace Foundation Honorarium in 1998. He started teaching ballet in 2002 and currently teaches with the PBT School. He also enjoys choreographing. Alan celebrates his seventh season as a company member.

Mike Clark car crash!
October 22, 2006

Now, how can I leave Mike Clark out of this blog ? Seriously?

He’s a great guy and a great friend and he’s going to kill me for this… but here goes.
I’ll start with a mild one and work my way up in the future.

This is about the time we crashed on the Parkway East.

I forget how, but years ago, Mike broke his foot. I do remember him hobbling around everywhere. He wasn’t allowed to drive. Because Mike is the busiest anchor in town, he had a speaking engagement downtown at a luncheon. His wife, Terri, drove him there and I offered to pick him up on my way into work.

We were a couple of miles before the Squirrel Hill Tunnels and as we rounded that bend, traffic was stopped for some reason. I slammed on the brakes. It was early in the afternoon so the stopped traffic was a surprise to me. But an even bigger surprise to the guy behind me. He was driving a huge work van.
Mike and I heard his brakes screeching behind us. I looked in the rearview…. too late. We got slammed!
And the force threw us into the car in front of us.

The workman jumped out to make sure we were ok…. But I think he freaked out a bit when “Anchorman Mike Clark” got out of the car and started hobbling around. He thought he’d hurt, of all people, Mike Clark.

Mike kept hobbling around the car checking out the damage. The workman kept chanting, “I’m going to get fired. I’m going to get fired. I’m going to get fired.”

I just stood there embarrassed that everyone driving by us was frustrated at the holdup… and thankful no one got hurt.
The guy in front of us slowly got out and said “Bet you two didn’t think you’d *make* the news today.”

When I drive down the Parkway East there is rarely a time I don’t tense up as I check the rearview.

Sally and I were trapped
October 20, 2006

ok ok…. so a certain reporter named Gus is making fun of my blog… says it’s all pictures. Even though I think he is just defensive because I showed his freak face picture… ; ) Gus has a point. I’m a little too attached to my digital camera.
So, Gus, here’s a little story about Sally and me that she reminded me of today:

Sally and I catch late movies every once in a while after my kids are asleep.
One night a couple of years ago, we decided on The Pianist. Great movie. Long movie. Three hours plus.
For obvious reasons, we were the only ones in small theater.
The movie pushed one o’clock in the morning.

As we were leaving, we noticed the all employees were gone. We were all alone with a fully-stocked concession stand. We laughed about how long it would take for Action News employees to go through all of the goodies in the case. We guessed about three and a half minutes based on how quickly food vanishes in the newsroom. (Sally is a big force behind that, by the way).

That’s about the time we stopped laughing.
The doors were all locked.
In fact not just locked… CHAINED.
We did what we had to do. We started SCREAMING. “HELP! ANYONE IN HERE?”

I pulled out my cell phone and said we could call someone. But who? Which of our friends would forgive us for bothering them? But what would they do anyway? Would Mike Clark bring bolt cutters and break us out?
I wanted to call the police.
But Sally, who was thinking more clearly than I, set the stage for what that meant: If we called 9-1-1… the local media would hear the call over the police scanners. And then we’d be front page (ok… that’s dramatic… but maybe a small embarrassing photo on page five) and we’d never, never, never live it down with our coworkers. A shot of us standing in the lobby of the theater, no make-up on, baseball caps, several empty boxes of snowcaps around us (ok. we didn’t take the snowcaps… I’m just being dramatic again).

So we started wandering around and ended up back in the theater where we saw the movie.
And we spotted the emergency exit door. … just waiting for us. Of course that’s what the teenage employees thought we’d do anyway. So we left and thought it best if we never spoke of it again.

Gus is Great
October 19, 2006

One more reason I think Gus is great : He doesn’t pose for pictures with his “newsman” face on….

Festival Fun
October 17, 2006

Here are some recent pictures I took at the Saint Teresa of Avila festival in Perrysville a few weeks ago. Here’s Mike and Jake.

Our wonderful producer Connie helped with the festival and asked several of us here at Action News to come down say hello to people there.

Here’s photographer T.J…..

…. and Bob and Don.

We had a great time!!! I brought my kids along and some friends, too. Thanks for having us!

Cup Cakes
October 9, 2006

The one thing I’ve learned about working for Channel Four is the saying “necessity is the mother of invention” is very true.
It’s best proven when cake enters the building.
You’ve heard us talk about the gazillion cakes we’ve gotten over the years. We are very grateful because the extra sugar boost comes in handy while we’re working under pressure.
Our station would go broke if it had to buy enough plates for all of those cakes… so we came up with a creative way to enjoy it. We take styrofoam coffee cups from the green room. The cups serve as both a knife and plate. We just scoop up the treat and enjoy. It works beautifully. Here are our producers to show you what life is like in the newsroom when someone announces over the intercom that “THERE’S CAKE IN THE GREEN ROOM!”

And so this is one of the great secrets of Action News: We turn all cakes into cup-cakes.

Pittsburgh Play
October 5, 2006

One of my best friend’s daughters is in a play at the O’Reilly Theater. Her name is Scarlet, she’s only 10 … and I’m sure you can tell from this picture she’s the sweetest thing! I’m so proud of her! The play is called Oedipus. If you’re looking for something cool to do… head downtown… find a good restaurant and then enjoy an evening in the theater. It runs through October 29th.

Here’s how their website describes it:

A terrible secret. A horrifying curse. A young king must use both his power and his cleverness to unravel a mystery and save his nation. But who will save him when he learns the shocking truth? Our new season opens with one of the greatest plays ever written, in a brilliant translation by Irish poet William Butler Yeats. Ted Pappas re-imagines Sophocles’ work in a contemporary setting, breathing new life into this enduring classic.

Employee Photos
October 5, 2006

Now for a look quick inside the station… and our “mug shots” displayed on the employee identification board.
You can find your co-workers’ names, departments, and the year they started here.
Here’s my picture….

OK…. BORING!!! But much much better than the driver’s license photo I had taken today. I look like I was just released from a lengthly stay in the hospital.
Well, since then, the photographer behind the board, Ed …. has decided to step it up a notch.
He is photoshopping backgrounds now…. that give a little more insight into the employee’s personality.
For instance, Tim likes motorcycles.

Steve loves being a dad.

The background for Stephen Cropper…. an obvious one….. oh, it also lets you know he’s a lawyer… something you may not have known.

But my all-time favorite is this one: Dan…. our associate director. It was taken the old-fashioned way. Mike Clark and I worked hard for this one…. we moved around to make sure we were in his background so we could get on the big board twice. Sorry to ruin your picture, Dan!

Salute to Sanchez
October 2, 2006

Hats off to Freddy Sanchez!!!

For those of you who don’t know…. Freddy is the Pirates third baseman who is the N.L. Batting Champion. He’s the first Pirate to do that in more than 20 years. He got two hits in the team’s last game yesterday to bring his average to .344.

Here’s Freddy at our Healthy for Life Expo at the Convention Center about a month ago. I got two autographs for my kids. I wanted to stay there and chat but my daughter was FREAKED OUT my the GIANT Pirate mascot that was looming over us. YIKES! So I just snapped this picture.

I became a big fan after meeting Freddy’s wife at the hair salon just before the All Star Game. Her name is Alissa and she was so proud that the massive write-in campaign by baseball fans helped put Sanchez on the NL roster for the All-Star Game.

She was so nice and so proud of her husband. She told me how they were high school sweethearts, how their relationship lasted through all those minor league days, and how Freddie has such good friends on the team.

My son has a bobblehead collection going. I think they’re actually quite scary how they stare at me while I’m cleaning his room. We don’t have a Sanchez. Guess I’ll have to go out and buy one now.

Strip District Day
October 1, 2006

I thought it was going to be a boring day today. It was raining and my kids were hanging out with their Granny all day.
But my good friend and neighbor, Cindy came to the rescue.
We went to the Strip District…. one of my favorite places!

First we checked out the new First Ladies exhibit at the History Center. We couldn’t take pictures inside… so here’s Cindy out front.

Here’s the website if you want to see a little more:

When I shot the commercial for it, the exhibit was still being set up so it was fun to see it all displayed today. I loved it! My favorite, of course, was seeing Jackie Kennedy’s dress. She was so petite. On the other hand, Eleanor Roosevelt was a very tall and very large woman. Eleanor was also very influential. Also, I learned it is not a requirement to be married to the president to be a first lady. At least once, I saw where a president’s niece took over the job to serve as a hostess to all the events at the White House. You can also check out White House china, and video clips and audio recordings. Very impressive.

After our tour, we had lunch at Cafe on the Strip. Yummy! Can you believe I ordered the spinach pasta? The waitress laughed and said they’re not serving spinach right now and that I should know that. No kidding! I guess all the talk about the bad spinach is making me crave it.

Then we headed to a new tea room in Perrysville called Antique Tea Room and gift shop. I had no idea there were so many different flavors of tea. So I let the waitress choose. It was something like creme brulee. It was yummy and a girly girl place to hang out… and I saw where they sell a magazine called Southern Lady for which one of my relatives is the editor in chief. So that made me feel right at home.

Finally, Cindy gave me some fresh herbs from her garden to go with a chicken recipe which I’m baking right now. My house smells wonderful. Bon Appetit!