Archive for December, 2011

3 Ways to Save on Prescription Drug Cost
December 31, 2011

No matter if you’re rich or poor or somewhere in between, you can get financial help paying for your medication!

1) Ask your doctor for a voucher. 

Drug companies give these vouchers to doctors to help you and all you have to do is ask.  It’s in an effort to compete against generic brands but because of that generic drugs do not qualify.

2) Ask your pharmacy for discount coupons. 

There’s a good chance your pharmacist has a stack of coupons which are also provided by drug companies to help you.

3) A website offers additional help.

Click here to get to a website called NeedyMeds to get additional ideas for help paying for your drugs.

To watch my full story click here.

This is a great time to talk about this because for many people it’s a tough time of year to pay the bills.  Credit cards bills are extra heavy with all those Christmas purchases and heating bills are higher than normal, too.  To get through, lots of people don’t fill their prescription medication because they can’t afford the co-pay.

Those three ways can drastically reduce or even eliminate co-pay costs, which may come as a relief for those struggling to make ends meet. Ashley Boynes-Schuck uses these programs and she shared her story with me in hopes of helping others.

“I’ve had rheumatoid arthritis in all of my joints since I was 10 years old, and I’m now 28,” Boynes-Schuck said.

At one point, Boynes-Schuck had to take 20 pills a day because her condition evolved into several other health problems. The extra problems evolved into drug costs that were so high she thought she had no choice but to stop filling her prescriptions.

“If I knew there was something out there to help me get them at a more affordable price then I totally would have taken advantage of that,” .” Boynes-Schuck said. “But at the time, I didn’t know.” She eventually learned there are several programs in place to help with the cost of medicine and there are no financial restrictions.

“I understand that these medications are expensive, and it’s important to save money any way you can,” said Dr. Fotios Koumpouras, medical director of The Lupus Center of Excellence at West Penn Allegheny Health System.

Koumpouras said patients should first ask their doctors about a voucher. Drug companies provide the vouchers to doctors to give their patients for certain brand-name drugs.

The two restrictions for vouchers are that generic drugs are not included and patients on Medicare cannot use them. But the vouchers help bring the co-pay cost down, no matter how much money you make. The next step is to ask the pharmacy about a discount card program. This is also offered by drug companies to help with the co-pay cost and make drugs more competitive with the generic ones.

Finally, go to where you can find help.

“The trend of these has grown rapidly over the last year or two and offers a competitive edge to the medications that might be cheaper otherwise,” Koumpouras said.

While the vouchers aren’t available for all drugs on the market, about half of all name brand prescription drugs are included, so it’s worth checking out no matter what your income level!


Mom’s Meatball Recipe
December 29, 2011

My mother loves to spoil us all year long….. but when the weather turns cold … she knows there’s nothing better than filling her cozy kitchen with an aroma sure to warm my soul.

Since she’s doing all the work and I’m just enjoying the fire ……I thought I’d share with you some of her magic!   Bon Appetit!

Mom’s Meatballs – A Rockfire Recipe

1 lb ground beef

1/2 lb sausage

2 large eggs

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1/4 cup romano cheese

1/3 cup breadcrumbs

1-2 Tablespoon minced garlic

1-2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup water

Mix all and form into golfball-sized meatballs.  We decided to bake some of them at 375 for 35 minutes to make sub sandwiches for lunch.. DELICIOUS!…  and the rest went in the crockpot to serve with spaghetti and garlic bread.

Truth in Advertising
December 29, 2011

Have you heard about the huge crackdown on advertisers? The United States is following Britain’s lead and starting to ban companies from digitally manipulating photos in order to sell products. It’s all part of truth in advertising. 

The UK banned a Lancome ad featuring Julia Roberts for excessive photoshopping.  We’ve all seen the beautiful smile of Julia Roberts often and it was easy to see that she was photoshopped into something that looked more like a mannequin. While her skin is flawless …. it also appears as if it could melt if the room temperature reached 80 degrees. 

Now the US is cracking down as well.  The National Advertising Division banned a Covergirl ad with 22 year old Taylor Swift.  Apparently, the company was asked about enhancing the lashes in post production while trying to sell NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara. Technically the NAD didn’t ban the ad ….. it never got that far. Once the agency started asking questions Covergirl pulled it.  NAD asked about the accuracy of the photo and asked Covergirl to substantiate claims that it created “2X more volume” and is “20% lighter than competing brands.” When those questions came in, the ad disappeared. 

 Maybelline also came under fire for a similar photoshop issue in which the company allegedly misled consumers by using photoshop to remove Christy Turlington’s dark circles while trying to sell an anti-aging product called “Eraser”.

As a woman on TV I know how much pressure there can be about hair and makeup and clothes. As a mother to a beautiful 11 year old I don’t want enhanced photos to make her lose one ounce of self esteem!

This might be just the beginning and may lead to more advertising bans which include those that slim down women in order to sell products. Just imagine how that will change our view in the grocery store check out line!

What do you think about the ban? Let me know: or to join the conversation on Facebook click here or for Twitter click here

25 Great Phone Apps
December 27, 2011

Lots of us unwrapped some sort of iCollection last week. Whether an iphone, and ipad or an ipod I thought now would be a great time to look at some of the most useful and interesting apps.  Plus, my mother is shopping around for her first smart phone and keeps asking what all it can do for her.  So I decided to make a list.  Some of these I have used for a while and others I’m just downloading. But here’s a personal list of 25 apps I love in no particular order. 

** 1) Words with Friends ( $0.99) — I am addicted to Words With Friends.  I have several games running at the same time and I love it.  While I don’t admire Alec Baldwin for throwing a hissy fit on the airplane and eventually getting kicked off while holding up the flight for an hour…. I can relate to being on the verge of playing a perfect word and having to wait. Here is my highest word score. 🙂 I took a picture. I will admit that any victory I’ve had includes a lot .. and I mean a lot… of guessing. Right now there’s no penalty for trying a word that’s rejected. But I sure do try every option and sometimes it pays off. I still have no idea what evzone means LOL!  

** 2) Skype (free) — This is fabulous.  My brothers and I use this often when we’re working on projects together and the sound quality is tremendous.  Whether over the computer or on the phone it’s great. Also Skype users can video chat with each other on the phone over a 3G connection and not just over WiFi like other services.

** 3) Angry Birds ($0.99) — I am not addicted to this app as much as some of my friends…. but it’s a great time waster when you’re in the grocery store checkout line that’s taking forever.  You can fling the cartoon birds through the air to sort of knock down things in a war against egg-stealing pigs. 

** 4) Yelp (free)  — I’ve used this around Pittsburgh when the restaurant I was planning on has too long of a wait or happens to be closed.  It locates all of the nearby places to eat and organizes them by proximity, neighborhood, price, or what’s currently open.  You also get to check out customer reviews. (Urbanspoon is similar and also great!)

** 5) Alarm Clock Pro ($0.99) — I use this everyday to back up my regular alarm clock … just in case.  I have to wake up at 2:30 AM and the news won’t wait!  So whether I’m away or at home it’s a must.  It also allows you to adjust the brightness on the screen which I love and you can choose to wake up to a variety of sounds or music.

**6) Open Table  (free)– I’ve used this a few times and it works great if you’re rushing to make reservations on the go or if you’re in a meeting where you can’t make a call.  There are 15K participating restaurants.  You can also check out nearby open tables. 

** 7)  My Fitness Pal (free)  —  OK.. so the truth is my trainer, Camille Clarke, forced me download this and it’s great.  I just log in everything I eat and it provides the calorie count.  It helps me keep track of how I’m doing everyday and keeps me accountable! 

** 8) Epicurious (free) —  This is another new one for me.  I think I’m going to love it!  You can type in ingredients you already have at home and the app will do the rest by adding a couple of quick items to pick up at the store.  It helps you plan small meals or big ones and you can see reviews of the recipes by other users. It’s like a virtual cookbook. it’s free.

** 9) Pandora (free) —   I love this.  It’s not new but it’s still great.  You just type in a song or an artist and it makes a playlist just for you of songs that are similar.  I’ve been introduced to a lot of new artists by this app. 

** 10) Photoshop Express (free)  — This is another new one for me.  Since I’m taking so many photos on my phone, it just makes sense to have an easy app to make corrections right there rather than sending them to my computer first.  Looking forward to learning this one. Best of all it’s free. 

** 11) Facebook, Twitter, & Google+ (free)  —  All a necessity on here.  There’s really nothing else to say.

 **12)  Amazon Mobile (free) —  You already probably use the service to buy things. But what I like best about this is that when I’m out shopping I can use this app to scan the bar code or just take a photo of an item and then see if Amazon sells is cheaper. 

** 13) Mint Personal Finance (free)  — Another one that’s going to help me kick off 2012.  It’s a money manager app that helps track your income, spending and investments. I can set a budget and it will keep me on track.  It’s a free service which will also help keep my budget in line. 

** 14) WebMD (free) — This offers a medical diagnosis app.  You can input your symptoms and gets clues to what’s ailing  you or your children.  It also provides a listing of area healthcare professionals and pharmacies in the area. But the best part of this app is a first-aid guide with simple instructions on how to deal with an emergency.

** 15) Retro Camera (1.99) — I downloaded this when some of my friends kept posting the coolest retro-looking photos on their Facebook posts.  It offers a variety of looks to make your pictures look amazing and a lot more interesting! 

** 16) Textfree Unlimited (free) — This is a great option especially for kids that don’t have a cell phone.  With wifi they can text any regular cell phone or someone else who is on an ipod/ipad for free!  They can text their friends all they want without their parents having to worry about for a monthly charge for cell service and texts. (And trust me when I say teens do more texting than actual talking anway — very, very bizarre to me!) 

** 17) Text’n Drive (free) — I’m just downloading this and I’m expecting big things.  For anyone who has a terrible habit of texting and driving or checking texts while driving, this app provides a hands-free solution.  It will read your texts for you and you can respond by just talking.  

** 17) Around Me (free) — It’s a new one for me.   With great reviews, I’m just starting to check out this app. It pinpoints your exact location and lets you know about points of interest around you.  Restaurants, bars, ATMs, hospitals, supermarkets, theaters, and more. 

** 19) Sky Walk ($1.99)  — This is amazing.  A few years ago I interviewed the two men who live in Pittsburgh who developed a version of this for Google and the Android platform. (Click here to watch my story) Kevin Serafina and John Taylor showed me their amazing app called SkyMap. This version for the iPhone also enables you to point your phone in any direction and identify the stars. It is especially cool if you are looking up at the night sky and want to know what you’re seeing but it will also tell you what’s beyond the clouds or if you point it toward the floor you can know what constellation the other side of the world is admiring.

** 20) Shazam (free) — My wonderful coworkers Kelly Frey and Scott Stiller love to talk music. Obscure music.  During commercial breaks one of them sings a few lines from an 80’s song and the other has to guess the name and artist. After launching Shazam just hold it next to the speakers and the app can tell you the artist and song title. It’s too bad the app won’t work just by having a coworker sing a few bars ….. 

** 21) Dropbox (free) — This is a free service that lets you put all of your photos, docs and videos together. It makes it much easier to email several pictures at once. Plus you can access your Dropbox from anywhere allowing you to take everything with you on the go. 

** 22) Allrecipes Dinner Spinner Pro (free) — Another great meal planning app that even includes a filter for how much time the recipe requires. The reason it’s called “spinner” is that you can play “roulette” and let the app choose your menu for you. 

23) ** CamScanner ($4.99) — it turns your iPhone into a portable scanner.  It can turn any document, receipt, or note into a PDF file for safe keeping. 

** 24) Evernote (free) — Evernote for iPhone lets you create notes, snap photos, and record voice memos that you can then access any time from your iPhone, computer, or the web.

**25)  WTAE (free) — How could I do a list without including this great app!  We’ll bring you all the latest local news developments, weather and traffic that you can check anytime!

Thank you to everyone who suggested interesting new apps to try on my Facebook post. This list obviously includes things I’m familiar with but I’m looking forward to trying out some of your suggestions! Here are a few from you: Poynt,  Barcode Scanner, iTriage, Shopsavvy , App Killer, Flashlight, Shopkick, Flipboard, Hipsamatic, Cardmunch, Geo Qpon, Keeper, Team Viewer, Notshelf, Allegheny Traffic Cams, Vlingo, Pocket, Calorie Counter, Tape Measure, Steelers Insider, Office Jerk, Cozi, Free App Finder, Key Ring, Steelers Gameday Official App & Penguins Official App, Currents, My Pregnancy Today from Baby Center, Urban Spoon, Mapquest 4 Mobile.


Peppermint-White Chocolate Royale
December 26, 2011

I have a very distant relative who is a magazine publisher.  She’s so distant I’ve never met her but she and my mother shared a great grandmother or something like that. As distant as it is… I still enjoy our connection!

She does a great job with the bi-monthly magazine called Southern Lady.   I have two actual old fashioned hard copy magazine subscriptions that come in the mail.  One is to the amazing Pittsburgh Magazine. Love it!  The other is to Southern Lady. In the holiday edition of my subscription, I found this yummy recipe for a soul-warming drink that can double as a dessert. Perfect to help us all cope with the winter blues now that Christmas is over.  Enjoy!

Peppermint-White Chocolate Royale

(makes 6 to 8 servings)

3 cups half-and-half

3 cups milk

1/2 cup peppermint syrup

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

2 (4-ounce) bars white chocolate, chopped

Garnish: peppermint,whipped cream & white chocolate curls

In a large saucepan, combine half-and-half, milk, peppermint syrup, vanilla, and white chocolate melts.  Garnish with peppermint whipped cream and white chocolate curls.  To make the peppermint whipped cream just fold crushed peppermint candy into traditional whipped cream.

Steelers Super Bowl Trophies!
December 26, 2011

Carnegie Science Center just sent me this release. You can see all six of the Steelers’ Super Bowl trophies from today until January 1st! Don’t forget your camera! 🙂

PITTSBURGH—Steelers Nation is invited to Carnegie Science Center to see all six of the Steelers’ Super Bowl trophies from Monday, Dec. 26, through Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012. As the Steelers approach playoff season in hopes of bringing home a seventh Lombardi Trophy, Steelers fans of all ages can bask in the glory of their team’s six Super Bowl wins, from the 1975 victory that began the dynasty, to their 2009 triumph.

Viewing the trophies is free with general admission to the Science Center, $17.95 for adults, $11.95 for children, and free for members of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. Bring your camera so you can be sure to get a picture of yourself and your loved ones with the trophies that make all the cheering and towel-waving worthwhile!

Carnegie Science Center hours are:

10 am—7 pm from Dec. 26—30

10 am—4 pm on Dec. 31

10 am—5 pm on Jan. 1



Home for the Holidays
December 26, 2011

I love my parents’ Christmas decorations not only for how beautiful they are but also for what they symbolize.  The best part of Christmas for me isn’t this beautiful tree or all the presents underneath.  When all the decorations go up I know it’s a time for all of my family to pause together in the glow of tiny sparkling lights to be thankful for one another as we celebrate our faith.

Merry Christmas everyone! As we take another week to reflect on this year that seemed to pass so quickly…. let’s also prepare for a wonderful 2012. 

Christmas Collection
December 22, 2011

I love the sparkle of Christmas.  I know what’s most important about this holiday goes much deeper than the decorations but I do love how all of the beautiful touches in my home now remind me to be thankful.  Here are just a few of the ornaments on my tree. I’ve spent years collecting them.  I especially love the glass ones.  Some of these are handblown by local artists. Others I’ve bought at big stores. And some are momentos of special places.  Of course, my very favorites I can’t include here for fear of embarrassing my children…. but they’re tiny glass photo frames featuring pictures of my two beautiful children for which I am most grateful! Merry Christmas!



The New Facebook
December 22, 2011

The national Facebook Design Director is from Pittsburgh! Kate Aronowitz went to Mt Lebanon High School and has worked at FB for the past three years.   I talked to her about the change that is panicking so many FB users!  She told me their crew has worked on the new design for the past year and they promise it’ll be an even better FB experience.  But many of my FB friends keep posting on how they’re sick of all the changes and worried. Kate told me, “There’s no reason to be panicked. We’re making the change because there’s lots of new ways to express yourself.”

Kate gave me the highlights of what you need to know about the new Facebook Timeline. Click here to watch my report. Here are the basics:

* FB isn’t forcing the change on anyone… at least not yet.  They want you to go to to try it out but won’t automatically switch you over.  That will happen eventually but Kate wouldn’t say when.  To try it go to After that you’ll have seven days to fiddle with everything from your photos to the public information before anyone else sees it.

* The layout is a bit different. There’s a line down the middle of two columns which designates the order of the posts which show up on both sides of the line depending on how they best fit. There’s even a way to spread a photo over both columns if you want to. Kate calls it a more dynamic layout.

*The timeline feature is what the change is named after.  You can upload anything from anytime in your life and it’ll show up in order of the date. Right now if you’d uploaded a baby picture of yourself it would show up on top. This new feature will place it on the date. Kate said this was made to be a scrapbook of your life. Kate said, “If you think about Facebook there’s so much content there if you think about your profile it goes back on and on and this is just a really great way to be able to navigate it much easier than you ever did.”

* There’s a new feature called Activity Log. Click on it and list your events including the music you’re listening to from Spotify.

* Another big change follows what Google+ has done. It allows you to group your friends into different categories such as family and friends and coworkers. Then you can post certain things to everyone or just one of those groups. Kate says for example, “I was excited to be at the Steeler game last night so I made that public but maybe I’ve got something more private a photo of my son that I just wanted to share with my family so I created a family post.”

I hope that helps with some of the basic features of the new layout. I just switched over myself and I’m still learning how to do everything. If you have any tips or complaints email me at

Morning Show was Elfed!
December 21, 2011

It’s that time of year… and these videos are always hilarious to me. Enjoy the video and watch our holiday dance moves and then upload a video of your own!

Click here to see how our morning show got Elfed!


Halibut Recipe
December 20, 2011

During the holidays I love spending time in my cozy kitchen.  I probably spend way too much time there.  In the middle of all the sweet Christmas cookies …… It’s nice to find a quick, easy and healthy new recipe.

I came across this one for halibut thanks to Jessica Seinfeld who’s married to Jerry Seinfeld (who I saw when he was in Pittsburgh and was even funnier than I imagined!)  So if you want to try this one out just remember it’s from Jerry’s house.

OK…. so first ask for halibut filets without the skins.  I had to stop at three grocery stores before I found them (I know you’re going to tell me I should have gone down to the Strip District but I was in a rush!)  Then pick up two 5 oz containers of spinach, salt, garlic, lemon and olive oil.

Preheat oven to 450.

Smash several cloves of garlic and smear all over the bottom of the pan.  Throw out the the pieces of garlic you mainly want all the juices on the pan for flavor.

Take the two containers of spinach and put in a bowl. Add  one tablespoon of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Mix well.

Line the bottom of the pan with all of the spinach. ( I didn’t use all of it and I should have because it cooks down so much)

Rub some olive oil on each filet and salt to taste (about 1/8 of a teaspoon per filet depending on size)

Put slice of lemon on each filet and cook for about seven minutes. Enjoy!

Shadyside Crepes
December 18, 2011

It all started 10 years ago when my friend Katherine introduced me to this cozy little spot in Shadyside near her home. Katherine knows food. Check out her blog here.  I was hooked after one visit.  Now I’m a regular.

Crepes Parisiennes is amazing.  So today, after a beautiful Christmas service at church, my children — once again — begged me to make the drive and fight the holiday crowd so we could enjoy one of our favorite treats.  It is tucked away on Filbert Street just off of Walnut under a bright blue awning.  The walls are stone and it couldn’t be more charming. But it is the food that keeps people coming back.

David Handler is the owner and chef and consistently creates the best crepes you can imagine.  There are a ton of choices both sweet and savory, but my favorites are:

* Spinach, egg, & cheese with soytang and creme fraiche

*Ham, cheese & pineapple

* Salmon

It’s also worth mentioning the cafe au lait is the best in town.

I ask David to share two of his secrets for crepe making.  He uses a mixture of buckwheat and white flour for his crepe mix.  He also said to make sure the pan is hot and seasoned (he uses canola oil) to ensure the perfect crepe.  I’ve tried to make these at home but I can’t come close to the perfection of what David does and that’s why my children insist we always come back here for an authentic taste of Paris.

Food Coach & Cookie Recipe
December 18, 2011

I did a wonderful story on a local women who’s a food coach. Betsy Moore started a website 

You can sign up for her services to make life a lot more easy!  She gives out grocery shopping lists, healthy recipes, and sends you videos of how to prepare them!  During our shoot she prepared some yummy cookies and she graciously shared the recipes with me.  Thanks Betsy!

Click here to watch my report.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Coconut Clusters

Ingredients: 1/3 cup almonds, ground 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, 1/3 cup raw cacao powder, 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter, 1/4 cup agave nectar or brown rice syrup (start with less and add to taste), Dash sea salt

Directions: With a fork, fold together all ingredients until well blended. Form into small truffles.

That’s all!

Celebrating Hollywood
December 15, 2011

It was so exciting to see all the Golden Globe nominations coming out today.  It helps me create a list in my head of movies that I need to see.  I haven’t seen any of the films on the list.  Watching them becomes especially helpful at the end of February when Sally Wiggin and I host the Pittsburgh Film Office’s annual fundraiser called Lights! Glamour! Action! Sally does a marvelous job of seeing all the nominated films …… I struggle to find the time.

But it’s now easier than ever with technology allowing me to watch it at home in my jammies curled up by a fire many times on the same day it’s released …..  instead of driving to the theater (which is always fun, too!)

Here’s a photo of Sally and me and the characters from Avatar. 

The film industry brought in more than $100 million to our region with most of the credit going to the Pittsburgh Film Office. So in honor of all of their hard work, I’m posting the full Associated Press story on the Golden Globe nominees…. which is a good indication of who’ll also be the Oscar nominees.  I’m already looking forward to another wonderful event to celebrate what Hollywood means to Western Pennsylvania!

BC-US–Golden Globe Nominations DAVID GERMAIN AP Movie Writer BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) –   Silent film is taking over Hollywood’s awards scene. The silent-era tale “The Artist” heads the Golden Globes with six nominations, among them best comedy or musical, and acting honors for its French stars, Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo. Tied for second-place with five nominations Thursday are the 1960s racial tale “The Help” and George Clooney’s Hawaiian family story “The Descendants.” Both films are up for best drama, while Clooney was nominated for best dramatic actor and “The Help” earned acting slots for Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain. Also competing for best drama: Martin Scorsese’s Paris adventure “Hugo”; Clooney’s political thriller “The Ides of March”; Brad Pitt’s baseball chronicle “Moneyball”; and Steven Spielberg’s World War I epic “War Horse.” Joining “The Artist” in the best musical or comedy category are: the cancer story “50/50”; Kristen Wiig’s wedding romp “Bridesmaids”; Woody Allen’s romantic fantasy “Midnight in Paris”; and Michelle Williams’ Marilyn Monroe tale “My Week With Marilyn.” Dujardin, who won the best-actor prize for “The Artist” in its premiere at last May’s Cannes Film Festival, was nominated for best actor in a musical or comedy. He plays a silent-film star whose career nosedives as talking pictures take over in the late 1920s in “The Artist,” which has virtually no spoken dialogue and is shot in the boxy, black-and-white format of the silent era. The actor called his nomination an “incredible gift.” “To be recognized alongside such brilliant actors is an honor,” Dujardin said. “The Golden Globe nomination for ‘The Artist’ has left me speechless!” “The Artist” also picked up a supporting actress honor for Bejo as a rising star of the sound era. Filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius earned directing and screenplay nominations, which also is up for best musical score. Clooney has three nominations. Besides best dramatic actor as a neglectful dad tending his daughters in “The Descendants,” he’s up for directing and screenplay for “The Ides of March.” For the acting prize, Clooney will compete against his “Ides” star Ryan Gosling, who plays a presidential candidate’s aide. Gosling had a second nomination for best musical or comedy actor as a ladies man in the romance “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” Glenn Close is also a dual contender, as best dramatic actress as a woman masquerading as a male butler in the Irish drama “Albert Nobbs” and for best song for writing the lyrics to “Lay Your Head Down,” the film’s theme tune. Also nominated for dramatic actress: Davis as a black maid going public with stories about her white employer in “The Help”; Rooney Mara as a traumatized victim-turned-avenger in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”; Meryl Streep as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady”; and Tilda Swinton as a grieving woman coping with her son’s terrible deeds in “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” Clooney has another pal in the dramatic actor race, his “Ocean’s Eleven” franchise co-star Pitt, who’s nominated for his “Moneyball” role as Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane. And Clooney also is competing for best director against his boss in “The Descendants,” filmmaker Alexander Payne. Gosling, Clooney and Pitt are up against Leonardo DiCaprio as FBI boss J. Edgar Hoover in “J. Edgar” and Michael Fassbender as a sex addict in “Shame.” Pitt’s romantic partner, Angelina Jolie, picked up a nomination for foreign-language film for her directing debut, the Bosnian war drama “In the Land of Blood and Honey.” Scorsese for “Hugo” and Allen for “Midnight in Paris” join Clooney, Hazanavicius and Payne in the directing category. Though “War Horse” made it in for best drama, Spielberg missed out on a directing nomination. Spielberg has a consolation prize with a nomination for his first animated film, “The Adventures of Tintin.” Other animation nominees are: James McAvoy’s “Arthur Christmas,” Owen Wilson’s “Cars 2,” Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek’s “Puss in Boots” and Johnny Depp’s “Rango.” Along with Gosling and Dujardin, Wilson was nominated for musical or comedy actor as a writer nostalgic for the 1920s France of Hemingway and Fitzgerald in “Midnight in Paris.” Also nominated are Brendan Gleeson as a bawdy, rule-breaking Irish cop on a drug investigation in “The Guard” and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a cancer patient aided by an assortment of oddballs in “50/50.” Roman Polanski’s domestic showdown “Carnage” earned musical or comedy actress slots for both Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet as mothers squabbling over their sons’ schoolyard fight. The other nominees are: Charlize Theron as a delusional woman plotting to win back her high school boyfriend from his wife in “Young Adult”; Wiig as a maid of honor whose life is unraveling in “Bridesmaids”; and Williams as Marilyn Monroe during a chaotic film shoot in “My Week with Marilyn.” Along with the Screen Actors Guild Award nominations a day earlier, the Globes field helps narrow down prospects for the Academy Awards, whose nominations come out Jan. 24. With drinks and dinner, the Globes are a laid-back affair for Hollywood’s elite compared to the Oscars. The show turned a bit touchy last year as host Ricky Gervais repeatedly made sharp wisecracks about stars and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of about 85 entertainment reporters for overseas outlets that presents the Globes. But Gervais helped give the show a TV ratings boost, and he’s been invited back as host for a third-straight year. Before the nominations announcement, the press group’s president, Aida Takla-O’Reilly, joked that Gervais is a “naughty, naughty schoolboy.” Five-time Academy Award and Globe nominee Morgan Freeman – who won the supporting-actor Oscar for “Million Dollar Baby” and a best-actor Globe for “Driving Miss Daisy” – will receive the group’s Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement at the Jan. 15 ceremony.