Archive for September, 2008

Polo for the Cure
September 29, 2008

Here are some pictures I wanted to share from the annual Polo for the Cure event which benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

This is one of my favorite events! Sally and I have a great time and feel good that it benefits such a great cause! The event was sold out this year… so you may want to buy a ticket early for next year!

  This year my brother, Derek joined us… and on the right is Delta Celli… who helps organize the event each year It’s held at Stom Hollow Farm Field in Ligonier.

  The half time show gets better and better each year. 

         Three skydivers put on quite a show. This event has raised more than a million dollars for the cause since it began about 15 years ago.


  If you’d like more information on how to get a ticket for next year.. or if you need information about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society click here.

Becky and Books
September 25, 2008

    Thanks to the wonderful Becky Emmers for the Starbucks run.  My vanilla soy latte was much needed! You can catch Becky on the popular feature Links N’@ right here on thepittsburghchannel.

    On Action News at Noon meteorologist Erin Kienzle talked about the upcoming rainy weekend… and I wanted to prepare. I asked Erin and Sally for a recommendation on a good book. They both had one for me so I went out and got both books. (I’ll have to flip a coin to see which one to start first…. Of course Erin’s recommendation has 661 pages… Sally’s has 498… so that may play a role in which one is first ) 

      I’ll start with Erin’s suggestion: It’s The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. Here’s a review I found: 

From Library Journal
Before Henry VIII ever considered making Anne Boleyn his wife, her older sister, Mary, was his mistress. Historical novelist Gregory (Virgin Earth) uses the perspective of this “other Boleyn girl” to reveal the rivalries and intrigues swirling through England. The sisters and their brother George were raised with one goal: to advance the Howard family’s interests, especially against the Seymours. So when Mary catches the king’s fancy, her family orders her to abandon the husband they had chosen. She bears Henry two children, including a son, but Anne’s desire to be queen drives her with ruthless intensity, alienating family and foes. As Henry grows more desperate for a legitimate son and Anne strives to replace Catherine as queen, the social fabric weakens. Mary abandons court life to live with a new husband and her children in the countryside, but love and duty bring her back to Anne time and again. We share Mary’s helplessness as Anne loses favor, and everyone abandons her amid accusations of adultery, incest, and witchcraft. Even the Boleyn parents won’t intervene for their children. Gregory captures not only the dalliances of court but the panorama of political and religious clashes throughout Europe. She controls a complicated narrative and dozens of characters without faltering, in a novel sure to please public library fans of historical fiction. Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State Univ., Mankato 
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. 

  Sally recommended Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Sally hasn’t read this herself yet…. but has it from a good source that’s it’s wonderful…. and it’s completely different from Erin’s suggestion. Apparently it’s a teenage vampire book ; ) …. but people of all ages love it. Review
“Softly he brushed my cheek, then held my face between his marble hands. ‘Be very still,’ he whispered, as if I wasn’t already frozen. Slowly, never moving his eyes from mine, he leaned toward me. Then abruptly, but very gently, he rested his cold cheek against the hollow at the base of my throat.”

As Shakespeare knew, love burns high when thwarted by obstacles. In Twilight, an exquisite fantasy by Stephenie Meyer, readers discover a pair of lovers who are supremely star-crossed. Bella adores beautiful Edward, and he returns her love. But Edward is having a hard time controlling the blood lust she arouses in him, because–he’s a vampire. At any moment, the intensity of their passion could drive him to kill her, and he agonizes over the danger. But, Bella would rather be dead than part from Edward, so she risks her life to stay near him, and the novel burns with the erotic tension of their dangerous and necessarily chaste relationship.

Meyer has achieved quite a feat by making this scenario completely human and believable. She begins with a familiar YA premise (the new kid in school), and lulls us into thinking this will be just another realistic young adult novel. Bella has come to the small town of Forks on the gloomy Olympic Peninsula to be with her father. At school, she wonders about a group of five remarkably beautiful teens, who sit together in the cafeteria but never eat. As she grows to know, and then love, Edward, she learns their secret. They are all rescued vampires, part of a family headed by saintly Carlisle, who has inspired them to renounce human prey. For Edward’s sake they welcome Bella, but when a roving group of tracker vampires fixates on her, the family is drawn into a desperate pursuit to protect the fragile human in their midst. The precision and delicacy of Meyer’s writing lifts this wonderful novel beyond the limitations of the horror genre to a place among the best of YA fiction. (Ages 12 and up) –Patty Campbell

Pictures from my Treasure Hunt
September 24, 2008

           Here are some cool photos from a cool event…. even though I’m sure you’ll agree I look very un-cool!!!!   ; ) 

            I’m on a treasure hunt at the Children’s Museum with my team. We were racing against time to find clues to unlock a treasure.  You can do this anytime at the museum… so I’ll explain what to do.

Here’s how it worked: We had a cell phone and a map. We’d use the map to figure out what to find outside or inside the museum.

The map include a super tight photo of something…. each of the 22 items included a number …. things such as statues and artwork and signs.

Then we’d dial a special phone number (I’d put it on speaker so others could hear) and punch in where we were and would be asked a question with a multiple choice answer.

  Can you tell how competitive I am? 

With every correct answer… we’d get a special letter.  When we finished nine locations correctly… we’d have to unscramble the letters to spell out a word and unlock the chest.  My teammates were awesome! 

  Here are the other two team leaders, KDKA radio traffic reporter Kathy Berggren and WPXI reporter Marc Willis.  


   Kathy’s team won….  We got second place … Sorry Marc (he he he)  but everyone got a big prize anyway! 

  If you’d like more information on doing the treasure hunt yourself or visiting the Children’s Museum click here.  

  The hunt benefited Tickets for Kids Charities. Click here for more information on that wonderful program.

Last Pirates Home Game
September 23, 2008

     Here is a behind-the-scenes picture from the Pirates last home game.

     Starting on the left there’s Joe our digital producer here at WTAE (who always makes me laugh),  Chris who’s expert (and also the guy who answers all my blogging questions.. I wouldn’t be able to do this without him!),  and my brother Derek.   We’re in the Lexus Club at PNC Park. It’s so beautiful in there and the food is yummy! 

    Who would have guessed how excited these three would be to meet Hannah the Pierogi?  

     I’ve promised to go to great lengths to embarrass my brother…. but honestly, I think he’s doing a good enough job of that on his own. ; )  Chris and Joe… sorry to embarrass you two… but how could I resist?

     Thanks to all of you who’ve written in to welcome Derek…. I have forwarded all of your messages on to him and it’s making his transition to Pittsburgh wonderful. But to all of you women who’ve written in wanting to meet him…. I think Hannah has obviously stolen his heart. ; )

Shannon and the National Anthem
September 22, 2008

  My dear friend Shannon Perrine was AMAZING on the field at PNC Park Friday night performing the National Anthem in sign language.

  I was supposed to join her on the field but at the last minute I had to stay and work and couldn’t make it in time. But Shannon did a wonderful job (she is very brave!). 

  Here she is with Cheryl… another brave one! This was part of a fundraiser to benefit the Pittsburgh Association of the Deaf and Greater Pittsburgh Community Center for the Deaf. Shannon also has a beautiful voice.. and I’m sure would have done a great job actually singing the anthem ; )… but I think she’s pretty awesome for learning the song in sign language for such a great cause! 

  The event was organized by Shining Stars... an organization that helps charities raise money for great causes. Click here if you want more information on how Shining Stars can help your group.

    I will post some fun pictures of other weekend events soon … My treasure hunt with the Children’s Museum, the Polo for the Cure which benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the Pirates last home game.

Treasure Hunt With Me
September 18, 2008

   If you’re looking for something fun to do with your kids this weekend… think about joining me at the  Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh for the Tickets for Kids Charities Treasure Hunt. It’s Saturday morning from 11 – 1pm. We’ll divide up into teams…. and some kids will compete on celebrity teams in the Northside Charm Bracelet Project’s newly launched “Where is Allegheny City” treasure hunt game. Everyone is invited to play in teams or as individuals throughout the day for prizes. (there’s a rumor going around that we’ll all get cupcakes, too!).

Here’s part of the press release:

  The interactive Treasure Hunt, created in partnership with mobile technology company deepLocal, was recently launched by the Northside Charm Bracelet Project and the Children’s Museum. To play, participants use their free Allegheny City Treasure Map to visit clue sites all around Allegheny Commons and answer questions about teh secret locations with their cell phone. Each correct answer gets them a piece of the secret password which is a letter. Once they collect all the letters, they will have to unscramble them to spell the secret password, which unlocks the Museum treasure chest and all players receive a prize! the museum will be open to the public regular hours for the celebration: 10:00 am to 5:00pm; Adults $10, Children 2 to 18 and seniors 65+-$9; children under 2 – free. 

The event celebrates the Children’s Museum’s long-standing support of Tickets for Kids Charities, which is celebrating the milestone of having included one million children in meaningful events and activities. Tickets for Kids has been celebrating the generosity of its major donors over the last year, including the Pittsburgh Pirates, Penguins and the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. 

Click here to get more information on Tickets for Kids Charities.. a non profit group working with 900+ community partners.

For more information about the childrens museum click here.


Power Out
September 15, 2008

     Like so many of you, I lost power last night.

     It went out thirty minutes before the Steelers game.  UGH. To say my son was disappointed would be an understatement. We lit a half dozen candles and saturated my home with the overpowering smell of vanilla.

    Thank goodness I went to that neighborhood candle party last year!

    It was about 493 degrees in our house… so we opened the windows.  Not only did that let in a nice breeze, but also the constant sounds of sirens all night. 

    About 6:30 I was jarred out of bed when the power came back on. The television came on full blast and so did every light in the house. HA!

     It reminded me of the tactic my father used to get be out of bed for school when I was a teenager. : )

     Thanks to everyone who called to check on us last night and thanks for the wake up call this morning. I really have great friends. And thanks to Duquesne Light crews who worked all night to get my power back on… I really appreciated being able to make strong coffee this morning!

    At the school bus stop all the talk was how people who went from bar to bar to bar… hoping to see the game.. only to have the bar lose power soon after they got there.   I am going to ask Jon Burton and Guy Junker show some extra long highlights of the Steelers game tonight!

Station Tour / Good Cause
September 12, 2008

       Today we welcomed this group of ladies from Upper St Clair.

They won a tour of our station at a charity benefit and I hope they enjoyed taking a look behind the scenes here. 

    The charity was for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society … a wonderful organization helping so many people. 

    I just got an email from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society about the national marrow registry. I have been on the donor list for a long time.  It relatively easy to donate these days… If you are a match with some suffering…. all most donors are asked to do is a procedure that’s basically like giving blood.  In a few cases they may ask to take some marrow out of your hip…. but feeling uncomfortable for a few days after that procedure would be so worth being able to save a life. 

    This email talks about signing up for a FREE test kit that will be mailed to your home. It’s a cheek-swab test kit. The program runs through September 22. Click here to sign up for the free kit and you just may have the opportunity to save a life!

Idina Menzel is Coming Here
September 10, 2008

    I love this woman’s voice!

  I just got word she’s coming to Pittsburgh in November and tickets go on sale this Friday. 

  Idina Menzel starred in the original role of Elphaba, the misunderstood green witch,  in my favorite Broadway show Wicked (I know, I know, I’ve been talking about it too much but it’s amazing and  it’s at the Benedum right now and you can click here for tickets). She won a Tony for her performance.

   Menzel is touring for her new album titled I Stand, a collection of love songs which she wrote herself.

    To get to her website click here and listen to her spectacular voice.

     Here is some of the information just in from the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.



Wednesday, November 12, 2008 /  7:30 p.m., Byham Theater  /  Tickets on sale Friday, September 12 at 9:00 a.m.

PITTSBURGH…The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presents the actress/singer/songwriter Idina Menzel, touring in support of her new album I Stand, featuring the single Brave, produced by Glen Ballard, for one night only on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. at the Byham Theater. Cohen & Grigsby is the lead sponsor of the Trust Presents series. 
Idina Menzel’s Warner Bros. Records debut album, “I Stand” is a powerful collection of exquisite new songs written by the Tony Award winning actress/singer/songwriter. With Idina’s one-of-a-kind soaring voice and the talent of legendary Grammy winning producer Glen Ballard, the final outcome is an album filled with pop tunes and heartfelt ballads—intimate yet universal stories of life, its challenges, relationships and of course – the subject of love. 
Idina, who reached superstardom on Broadway in two career-defining roles – her Tony Award winning performance in the musical blockbuster “Wicked” and in the revolutionary “Rent,” didn’t get to “stand behind a character, costumes and makeup” when she went to work on her new album. As Idina put it, “I love being an actress but the hardest thing to do is totally be yourself, singing your own songs with nothing to hide behind. It’s exhilarating, exciting and terrifying – but ultimately rewarding.” 
In 2003, Idina originated the role of “the green girl,” the misunderstood witch in the hit musical “Wicked” which included her show-stopping performance of the song “Defying Gravity”. In 2007, she re-recorded and remixed “Gravity” and the song went on to become a Top 5 hit on the Billboard Dance Chart. Her star turn in “Wicked” won her a Tony Award and huge critical acclaim.
Tickets ($41, $36, $27) go on sale Friday, September 12, at 9 a.m. at the Box Office at Theater Square, online at or by calling 412-456-6666. 

Busy in the Newsroom
September 9, 2008

   Sorry I haven’t blogged since Friday… it’s been a busy weekend….

   But I’m never as busy as our producer Tom West. We got a picture of him in action today ….  double fisting the phones.

    All of our producers do such a great job here and they make my job so easy! 

    I made a new discovery today…. there are angels on earth and they work at my children’s orthodontist’s office.  I won’t elaborate on my morning in the office except to say that Zach thought the orthodontist has good cause to double our bill after this morning’s event.  Enough said. 

    One last thing…. here’s the book I’m reading right now: 

    Eat Pray Love is by Elizabeth Gilbert.  It’s described as one woman’s search for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia.  It was a New York Times bestseller and so far I really like it. I’ve finished the sections on her trips to Italy and India… and now I’m just getting started on her journey to Indonesia. I’ll have a wrap-up hopefully soon if I can find some free time to finish up.

Happy Friday
September 5, 2008

     The broadway show Wicked is amazing.  Derek loved it and he was blown away by the beautiful Benedum Center, too.  If you see it… please send me a note and let me know what  you thought. The cool restaurant Seviche which is just down the street on Penn was the perfect place for dinner before the show.  So overall it was a fun night… and for many reasons he called me ‘best sister ever.’ HA! (This makes up for my daughter saying to him every morning “Have a good day, weirdo.” Hey, he’s moving into his own place in two weeks so she’s got to get it in while she can. )

   Speaking of two weeks….. I also wanted to tell you that Wendy will be back on the news then. I can’t wait to hear how everything is going with her darling twins. 

   Hope you have a great weekend and Go Steelers!

Back at Work
September 4, 2008

    Hi. I’ve been off the past three days and I’m getting caught up at work. I wanted to let you know that I can’t answer any of your emails from home… so forgive my delay in getting back to so many of you. I love hearing from you so please keep your emails coming. 

     Tonight my brother, Derek is going to see Wicked. Click here if you’d like tickets to an AMAZING show. He’s never been inside in the Benedum before and I can’t wait to see his reaction! 

     I also wanted to share an update with you on our station’s new mascot.  

    She’s baaaaaack! 

    Remember a couple of weeks ago I told you how our producer Kevin was greeted at midnight by a praying mantis on his car’s roof as he was leaving work?  This time she came back under Kevin’s car in the wheel well …

   Once again, he snapped a photo for me before gently putting her in some mulch.

     I think someone is trying to send Kevin a message… ; ) Wonder what it could be? 

     Oh, that just reminded of something odd that happened to me. You know how I put up hummingbird feeders on my deck at the beginning of the summer?  I was so happy they finally started coming around. I loved it.

Yesterday, one flew into the glass door leading out to the deck!


    I took a picture with my phone to send to my neighbor who’s been working all year to attract hummingbirds. 

    I thought it may have broken something because it wouldn’t move. The kids thought it was dead.. but when Derek nudged it with his foot it started to move…

    I guess it just stunned itself and after sitting right outside of my door for about five minutes he flew away.

    I hope the little thing is ok.

Derek is Here!
September 1, 2008

 Of course, we took him to Mt Washington … and reminded him of this breathtaking view he’s seen when visiting us before.

But this time it’s different…. it’s now his city.

Welcome Derek! It’s great to have you here.