Archive for April, 2008

The Finger Controversy and Our Cake
April 29, 2008

   You may have heard about the controversy surrounding this little give-away from the Pirates:

       The bobblehead given out at the weekend game is of Tom Gorzelanny.  He has his middle finger outside of his glove (if you have one of these you know it is indeed his middle finger and not his first which is easier to see in person).  At first I thought…. maybe the guy just holds his glove like that. But on the outside of the box on the photo…. it’s pretty clear that he puts his first finger out. 

   Anyway, I’ve laughed at all the jokes going around about it…. then I laughed remembering what happened at my daughter’s first birthday party.  

    (For those of you reading this blog from the beginning you’ve already heard this story, I know)

   My mom ordered an ice cream cake for Ally and she wanted Barbie on the front of it.

  The young girl at the shop said she could draw a Barbie and write Happy Birthday Ally. No problem.

   I’ll never forget the look on Mom’s face as she walked through the door with it. She was disgusted. 

   She opened the box and while Mom was furious….. my brothers and I couldn’t stop laughing.

    It looked as if Barbie was cross-eyed drunk and giving us the finger. As if Barbie was angry Ally was celebrating her first birthday.

      It also looked as if she were drunk when she put on that lipstick.

     We took a ton of pictures and sent them out to everyone we knew.

     One of my friends at work copied the photo and made funny greeting cards out of it and I think even a t-shirt. 

      I’m sure not many people even remember what their first birthday cake looked like…. but this is one Ally and the rest of us will never forget.

      Ally is going to turn 8 in another six weeks or so. My mom and cousin Lisa are already planning a big surprise for her and won’t tell me what it is.

     Maybe Barbie will make another appearance. 

 

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Shane’s letter to us
April 29, 2008

   Here is just a portion of the latest email by Shane the soldier for me to share with you.  For those of you just started reading this blog, I was covering Barack Obama in Indiana and met Shane and his fiance in the airport. They were saying goodbye to each other as Shane was getting on the plane to head out for duty in Iraq for the next 400 days. He told me he’d write us to let us know how he’s doing.

    I’ve passed along all of your emails to him and he really appreciates all the thoughts and prayers. Keep them coming!

  

Michelle,

     Well, it has finally arrived.  The day that all of our hard work, sweat, tears, and at times seemingly pointless miles that we’ve spent away from our families begins to serve its purpose.  When the majority of the world lies down in their beds to conclude the day, I’ll be staring out the window of a plane looking one more time at home, home in this particular situation meaning America!  

     I can’t help but to think of this as a moment of clarity.  A moment to lay it all out on the line, the feelings, fears, hopes, animosity and every other emotion I’m overwhelmed with at this time.  People ask me if I am scared, well, I am terrified!  Not of dying or being wounded.  I’m terrified of the more domestic side of war.  I’m engaged, and what scares me the most is losing her because I can’t be with her.  

     I’ve rambled enough, a soldiers emotions are best submerged.    I will talk to you soon, pray for us!

 

Heinz Field on Draft Day
April 28, 2008

   (*** First a quick note about Shane the soldier headed to Iraq. He appreciates all of your prayers and thoughts. I forwarded him your emails of support… so keep them coming. He started out on his journey last night and I’ll post his updates here soon.) 

    We headed out to Heinz Field this weekend for the Steelers Draft Day Fan Blitz.

   A big bonus this year was that Ally was not scared of Steely McBeam 😉

   Zach and I tried to kick a field goal… and both of us missed. There is video,  but this new blog format won’t let me post it … THANK GOODNESS!

  Ally was excited about getting a tattoo.

 The number 7 was the only number option…. so Ally went with it and added some sparkles..

   But we really wanted a number 3 for Jeff Reed… especially after we tried to kick out on the field. 

  Also because we saw in the guide where Jeff was going to be signing autographs.

  If you’ve been reading this blog for a while then you know our fascination with Jeff.  When Zach was in kindergarten, Jeff came to his school and played kickball with Zach’s class. Jeff actually threw the ball and got Zach out on his way to first base. A kindergarten kid thrown out by a professional football player. A man who can do that…. well, he can do anything. ; ) So, after that we started paying extra attention to Jeff.  Zach asked Santa for a Reed jersey and Santa had to special order it. At the Steeler pep rally before the Super Bowl, Jeff saw Zach’s jersey and came over and shook his hand…. and then I interview Jeff live on Action News.  He’s a nice guy and I’ve long forgiven him for nailing my kid with a kickball when he was only five years old (well, maybe not since I keep bringing it up).

  Anyway, we were all excited to see Jeff again.

 Zach couldn’t wait to see what strange hairdo Jeff is sporting these days.  He’s known for some very “creative” looks.

  We followed the signs to the autographs. 

  The line was probably three hours long. There was no way I was going to wait that long.

 Instead, I agreed to stand around the front near the table just to see Jeff’s ‘do.  

       Jeff came about 15 minutes late….

 

     …… and …….. 

 

       TAH DAH ! 

 

     Jeff is going with the boring/businessman look for the Spring of ’08.

   We’ll see if he has something crazy in mind for the upcoming season. 

 

 

Helping Children Who Need It
April 27, 2008

      I was honored again this year to help out with a wonderful cause. 

     Casa is a group that works with children. It stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate and these people help children through the court system.  While the adults get help in the system….  it would be easy for their children to get overlooked if it weren’t for this group. The group works to advance the best interests of dependent, abused and/or neglected children in the Commonwealth.

    I’m pictured here with Fradelle Karpen. She knows how to get things done …. and get them done in an amazing way.  She organized Friday night’s fundraiser at a beautiful place I’d never been in Canonsburg, Washington County called Bella Sera by Greco’s. (It’s on Morganza Road right by the All Clad Plant.)  Click here to see the website. 

   Fradelle worked for months and was able to get some of the region’s best chefs to donate their time and their food for a big crowd. The Capital Grille, Alfano’s at the Quail, Bella Sera by Greco’s, the Capstone Grill, Greco’s Gourmet Catering, and Jacksons Restaurant Rotisserie Bar all prepared wonderful dishes for the event. 

   Entertainment was provided by Billy Mancini who did a wonderful job. Click here to see his youtube video.   There was also some of the most amazing sports memorabilia I’ve ever seen at a fundraiser.

   My thanks to Fradelle and to Executive Director Vivian Osowski for having me join in again…. and I’m already looking forward to next year.

  If you need help, know someone who needs help, or if you’d like to volunteer or donate to a wonderful organization click here or call 724-228-0414.

 

Searching for Shane the Soldier
April 25, 2008

 

You helped me find him. I knew you would.

Many of you wrote and gave me wonderful suggestions on various ways to track him down…. but it all came to to me leaving off a “.” out of the email address. So many of you have loved ones serving overseas and spotted right away what I did wrong.

  So when I tried it, it went through to him and I’ve already heard back from a very grateful soldier. 

Michelle,

     Thank you so much for e-mailing me the picture, and most importantly for trying once more after I incorrectly wrote my e-mail address down for you.  It is people like you who make our sacrifices worth while.  I will certainly write to you, I’d like to read what people have to say about what’s going on, not so much about the war but rather the soldiers.  And thank you so much for not putting to much of my information out there, that’s really professional and curteous of you.  My fiance is thankful as well, she’ll love it.  

     There really isn’t much going on at the moment, just packing and getting everything ready to ship out in a few short days.  However,  I’ll definately keep you posted though, thanks again. 

                                                     – Your soldier

 

 

Shane, stay safe and we’ll all look forward to your updates! 

Also if any of you would like to send a special message to Shane please just send it to me and I’ll send it along. 

(special note to all of you who responded to this blog: You know I try so hard to respond to each email I receive … but in this case I was overwhelmed with helpful emails, many of which I shared with Shane, so please forgive me for not responding to everyone… just know that I am grateful)

Our Trip with Obama
April 25, 2008

 

 Here are some photos from our trip to Evansville, Indiana to cover Barack Obama.

 Here I am with two great photographers: Gary (on the left) and Andy. They worked non-stop.

 

 

 (** special note: when I wear this red jacket, Jon Burton always calls me Captain Kangaroo**)

       First, I want you to know that we didn’t find out until the night before where he was going to be on election night. The campaign couldn’t make up its mind. We first thought he’d be in Philly. Then it came out he was moving on to Indiana but didn’t know where. Then we heard Indianapolis…. Finally, at 6:00 on Monday night the Obama campaign confirmed he’d be at a rally in Evansville.  So we (and by “we” I mean my Assistant News Director Roberta Petterson) scrambled Monday night to make plane reservations and satellite truck preparations and hotel reservations…… and just as I went to bed I found out I’d meet Gary and Andy at the station at 5:30 Tuesday morning for a long long long day. 

       We flew from here to Baltimore then onto Louisville, Kentucky and then drove two hours to get to Evansville. The event was at Roberts Stadium but we weren’t allowed inside until about 2:00. Then we had to rush in and put down all of our equipment and then leave again for the Secret Security sweep.  Here’s a shot of about half of the media there covering the event. I couldn’t get the whole crew in one picture. 

 

       We were allowed back inside about 5:30 and then we just waited. The crowd started coming in about 6:30. Obama’s crew first made people sit right behind the stage. So that section filled up first to ensure it would look crowded for the cameras I’m guessing (there was no need to worry because the 12-thousand seat stadium filled up pretty quickly.)  

     I’ll tell you more about the event later and how the entire crowd focused on Pennsylvania the entire night…….  But right now, I just noticed the time and I have to head out to work now. 

 

 

 

Help me find a soldier
April 23, 2008

     I know I’ve asked those of you who read my blog for a lot of advice… but this one is really important to me. I need help finding this soldier.

     An army reservist gave me his email so I could send him an important photo but the email came back to me.  I’m not sure if I wrote it down wrong or he got it wrong because it’s his military email and this is his first deployment to Iraq. 

     I’ll tell you how we met.  I was coming home from the Barack Obama rally in Evansville Indiana and we were in the Louisville airport early in the morning.  I was taking some pictures of various things to show you here on this blog (I will post them over the next few days)  when we saw him.  A young soldier in fatigues with his fiance and her sparkling engagement ring. They were hugging each other and wiping away tears.

      It was moving.

      One of the photographers with me, Andy, said that would be a good story to tell on my blog.  It was a powerful moment to watch…. but I was worried I’d ruin their moment.  The other photographer with me, Gary, took my camera and walked over and asked them if they minded.   They were happy to pose and smiled and hugged for the camera.  I ask him where he was headed and he told me he was going to  Kuwait for two weeks and then into Baghdad.   I thanked him for his service and sacrifice … then it was time to load the plane. 

      I think every passenger felt a little emotional watching the two of them part. 

      He ended up sitting behind me on the flight. His name is Shane and he’s in the reserves and will be an MP on his assignment. He said he would be gone for 400 days. 

      As the plane was landing he leaned up asked me if I could email him this picture. He said he didn’t have a camera and his fiance forgot hers and he’d love to have a copy of it. 

      As soon as I got home, I logged on, uploaded the photo, and emailed it him. But the email was returned indicating that the address was wrong. I think he told me had driven to Louisville from just across the border in Indiana. I’d really love to be able to track him down so he could have this. I don’t think I should share on this blog his last name or the email address he gave me…. but does anyone know if all army emails end with : @usarmy.mil   ??? 

    I’ll let you know if I’m able to find him and send him this picture. 

 

    I 



 

 

Don’t try this!
April 21, 2008

    A friend just send me this link to a video that is breathtaking… as in freaks me out! It’s called El Caminito del Rey (The King’s pathway). It’s a walkway along a narrow gorge in El Chorro in Spain. It has fallen apart and is now closed to hikers… but brave (i.e.: crazy) people still sneak in and cross it anyway. I have no idea who the guy is with the video camera. But I have serious doubts about his sanity. 

    Click here to watch. 

 


Birthday at the Pete
April 21, 2008

Zach had a cool idea on how to celebrate his 10th birthday this year. He wanted to go see the Peterson Event Center at Pitt.  He loves basketball and since we were planning what to do in the middle of March madness…. well, it seemed logical. ( Mom wanted him to pick a couple of friends and go to a movie.. ha ha ha)

 Turns out Mike Clark had a friend, Tom, who works at Pitt and so Mike gave him a call for me.   

       Tom took Zach and 14 other 4th grade boys all over the place at Pitt. They all got Oakland Zoo t-shirts, too.  And I have to say, having those kids wear shirts that had the word “zoo” on them was very appropriate. I learned that taking 15  boys on a tour is like trying control a small herd. ; )  

     After we left the visitor’s locker room we got to meet one of Pitt’s great players. His name is Keith Benjamin and he was kind enough to stop for a picture. (I shouldn’t post it here because I’m not sure the parents would want their kids’ faces on my blog… so you’ll just have to trust me.) 

      Zach and his friends had a blast! Thank you very much Tom for the great tour! 

My Baby is Double Digits!
April 18, 2008

  I’m not sure how it happened… but somehow, my baby boy turned 10 today. 

   Zach is a great kid and if you read this blog, you already know how much fun I have with him and my daughter Ally.   I’m so blessed to be his Mom! 

 

  

 

What A Night!
April 17, 2008

        What a busy night!  Our entire crew worked late last night for our Democratic Debate special, we hosted a watch party (great food and cookies) in one of our studios with about 50 guests, Mike  Clark reported from Washington D.C. on the Pope’s birthday,  Stephen’s forecast for the next few days looks amazing, and the PENS WON!  Now *that* was a fantastic newscast! 

   Thanks for all of the wonderful messages about my hair. My inbox was full yesterday and I appreciate you taking the time to send me such nice thoughts. There was one guy who wrote ” no. no. no. no. You’re hair is way too short now.” … But other than that, all the comments were kind. ; ) Several of you wrote or left me a voice mail asking if my new style has a name. No it doesn’t. I went to Ziggy and just said that I wanted a spring cut and to do whatever he thought was best. I’ll ask him to give it a name and let you know… or even better, just email me your suggestions. 

       As far as the fruit fly trapping… here are your suggestions. I’m supposed to put cider vinegar or beer into  a cup and cover it with plastic wrap. Then I have to poke small holes in the wrap. The flies will crawl in and get trapped. Ok. I’ll head to the store tonight and get the supplies…. so thanks! 

     Finally, here’s something to make you smile. It’s a couple of pictures I took of Shannon. We went to an art show together at the Carnegie Museum. She’s saying something like “Don’t you take my picture, Michelle Wright!” ha ha ha ha…  she said “I’ll take your picture” I think I giggled and said “OK… then I’ll just make fun of your camera.” ha ha ha ha….. Shannon is such a good sport (fingers crossed) ….. I only tease her because she’s so adorable! ha ha ha…. 

 


Mike’s in D.C.
April 16, 2008

    Isn’t it awesome that Mike Clark is down in Washington, D.C. covering the Pope’s first visit to America as pontiff? 

   Seeing Mike in front of the Washington Monument on the news last night reminded me of my last trip to D.C. and I pulled up these pictures I thought you’d enjoy.  Mike will have more from the Pope’s visit on our news tonight at five, six and eleven….. and stay with us through the evening because we have full coverage all evening of the Democratic Primary Debate tonight.  It’s sure to be a good one! 




    Also, you know how I posted last night that Shannon is AWESOME…. well, in looking up these photos from D.C…… I also found an AWESOME picture of her. She is going to kill me for posting it ha ha ha…  (she’s such a good sport!)  I won’t say anymore about it because I want to keep her guessing. ; ) 

Shannon is Awesome
April 16, 2008

 

   Tonight, I’m working the late shift along with my fantastic friend Shannon Perrine. Here’s another reason I think Shannon rocks. Tonight she went out on a dinner run for the whole newsroom and even made an extra stop at Starbucks.. since I’m not used to the late news. 

    Also, thanks to everyone who wrote in such nice letters about my hair. I’ll pass them along to my hairdresser, Ziggy. ; ) 

      

 

Fruit Fly Invasion
April 15, 2008

 Help.

 

     Fruit flies have invaded my home.

     Who knows why. I don’t have fruit or any food out on my counter.

      They’ve been annoying me for a week and a half. I thought they’d just disappear since they are supposed to have a  short life.

 

  But these are the Methuselahs of fruit flies.

   I thought I’d seen somewhere that if you put out a dish of something (soapy water, vinegar, alcohol) that it would take care of the little guys. (I apologize to anyone who may be a fruit fly lover).

   Anyway, I’d love your help. I can’t take it anymore.

 

Politics and Mud Slinging
April 14, 2008

  If you are still deciding for whom to vote next week…. you may want to click here. Our website has an easy-to-understand breakdown of each candidate’s stances.

   It’s a short summary and sets up their views side by side … and it may help you decide. Thanks to our awesome web team! 

   Politics and mud-slinging go hand-in-hand…. ; ) 

    So now’s a good time to show you this photo I got over the weekend. I won’t tell you who it is…. but take a look at how she and her mom celebrated her recent birthday.

   A mud bath.   Her mom took her to a fancy spa “to relax”.

    Right.

  This looks very relaxing, doesn’t it? …… Not.

  I wonder how much something like this costs? I’ll have to look it up for you.

  I  think I’d have a tough time breathing in there.  In fact, it’s sort of hard to breathe just looking at the photo.

  Maybe it does relax you after all ….

 I’m sure after you’re out…. mentally you’d have to think to yourself “what a relief that I’m not drowning in mud anymore…. let me clean up and go take a nap.”