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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Florida, Florida, Florida

080128nightlyblog2pOh, those words from the 2000 election are forever burned in my brain.  Tim Russert and his little dry erase board, LOVE IT.  I'm going to guess for tonight and call Florida for Mitt Romney.  I am clearly not always right about these things, but it's fun to play.  It's much more my speed than Fantasy Football.  Did everyone read Brian Williams' blog yesterday? Brian is the man because he uses phrases such as "sensory assault" and notices things such as the kind of ipod the President has.  Oh my goodness.  I wish I was at that lunch table... and T. Russert was right next to the Prez!   



Oh... some day.



Okay, so let's talk about last night.  State of the Union.  I am such a geek about SOTU.  It's like the Superbowl to me.  Seriously.  One day, when I'm not working on State of the Union night, if that EVER happens, I vow to have a State of the Union party.  I can only think of two people off the top of my head that will definitely come, but still.  Chex mix. Cool drinks. POTUS on the tizo.  I vow.



Img_0090This was my first State of the Union in DC.  I have always watched it, in Roanoke, or in Norfolk, or in Pittsburgh, with my little pre-released speech in hand from the Associated Press.  And this time, even though I wasn't THERE it was still cool, knowing it was going on right down the street. The Prez, all the members of Congress, his admin., the Supreme Court under one roof.  And quite a roof it is.  Knocks my socks off. Seriously. (photo courtesy Greg Compton)



Img_0075I wasn't there, but my co-workers were.  I was super-psyched for Jessi.  She was staked out at Statuary Hall, interviewing lawmakers for our stations.  She was very impressive in her suit and very attentive with her clip board.  We are professionals, people. 



Img_0081So, how do you memorize all the Congressmen for 26 different stations across the country?  Easy.  You make a yearbook.



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The circus is in town!



Oh, what a night.  I am exhausted just reliving it.  It's a good reminder to me, to be thankful to be in this town.  Yes, I do wish I was a producer at a network, chilling with GWB for lunch, rather than the overnight producer at a bureau, but you know what? I'm on my way.  I'm here. That's the state of my union.  And I'm grateful.



Which reminds me... I am almost ready to disclose my New Year's Resolution. (I usually spend the month of January mulling around ideas and don't really commit to anything until February, I just find that works better for me)



Okay, what else did I want to get off my chest and into the world wide web? Oh, YES.  On this Florida Primary day, I ask you, the American people, do all voters actually eat in diners?  So, people who vote eat at diners, or people who eat at diners vote?  Which way is it, exactly? And, please, can we please interview some regular people somewhere else? At the mall? At the beach? People are everywhere.  While I'm on this rant (per Nikole's request) can I also ask that we please stop this "Super" and "Tsunami" Tuesday insanity? Please.  It's super duper crazy triple dog dare Tuesday. Go to the diner, then - go vote!!



Hillary_purseOne more thing... since I'm churning.  Did you guys see Hillary Clinton coming into the State of the Union last night? She was carrying a purse.  Yep. Running for President, and carrying her own purse.  I have NEVER seen this woman carrying a purse before IN MY LIFE.  She has people that do that.  I thought it was random.  But funny. Like, hmmmm.... just in case you need to escape to the Ladies room?



Ahhhhh. There you go.  Whew.  Out of my head.  On the screen.  Soon, on a screen near you.  I deleted 1,811 e-mails today.  Hadn't cleaned out my inbox since New Hampshire.  Now, I can breathe.  Hi.



Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My dog has a hernia

I am not even kidding you.  Today, I took Brokaw to the vet for his bordetella booster - because I'm traveling again in February and he needs to be able to stay at the PetsHotel.  Since he was a new patient, he had to have the exam and the whole bit.  My puggle weighs 24.3 lbs. and he's not even chubby!  So, the vet is feeling all around Brokaw's abdomen, and he stops at this one point. "Hmmm." Hmmm? What? Then he tells me Brokaw has a little hernia. I'm all what? Seriously? My dog has a hernia? Are you kidding me? And so, naturally, I say, out loud, "Well, I do make him do all the heavy lifting." Well... Mr. Serious Vet didn't laugh.  Not even a smile. Not even a hint at either corner of his mouth.  Then he goes all scientific on me and explains how dogs are embryos at one point and certain stuff has to go through this little hole and it's very common and it's not a problem but it needs to be monitored. So, my dog has a hernia. Wow. I certainly didn't see that one coming. Img_4455



Sunday, January 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Jimmy!

This weekend, my sister's dear husband, Jimmy, turned the big 4-0.  I missed the birthday bash because of the bad weather, but I can't wait to hear all about it because my family knows how to throw down -- and my sister went all out with the "over the hill" decorations - crows in the yard!



I love Jimmy like he's my real brother.  I barely remember a time when he wasn't part of our family, so it's like he's my real brother anyway.  Jimmy is a good husband and a good father.  He's hilarious.  He's a smart businessman.  He loves Kenny Chesney as much as I do, and he can grill a MEAN steak.  Love you Jim! Happy 40th!



L_6e21863451067cc0ece1b8869f3ef2d5 Lawnmower Img_0196_5 L_4cc9ed04dc8d85d96745c1e26a61103b



Friday, January 18, 2008

Friday... Finally

Greetings.



It is Friday. I was starting to lose hope that it would ever get here, but alas, it has. And I'm so glad.



First, I give you the quote of the day - "This coffee has given me a new perspective on life." --Jessi Eckert, my co-worker extraordinare, lamenting about the Au Bon Pain Hazelnut, which, I hereby declare, doubles as fuel for employees of the Hearst-Argyle Washington News Bureau.



In celebration of Friday - I give you a snapshot of how my brain - low on sleep and high on caffeine has been working this week.



Here are a few observations:



Condi_drinking1. Condoleezza Rice drinking it up on the Mideast Trip. Yee-ha! I guess her job is pretty stressful, so why not? Can't a girl have a cocktail while trying to work out a historical peace deal? 



Sip it up, Condi!



(disclaimer: I don't know for sure that daiquiri was loaded, but she was smiling a lot)



Greening_lg2. Politicians and their not-so-subtle signs. This is nothing new.  President Bush likes his signs as the background, or a banner up above (Hello - remember "Mission Accomplished?")



Well, Nancy Pelosi likes hers on the podium, like this one here <-----.  Now, she's taken it a step further.  I couldn't find a pic to show you EXACTLY what I'm talking about - but at her news conference yesterday, she had a GIANT, shameless plug for her website.  It was huge,Like the size of her head.





500pxhenry_paulson_official_treasurRussian_spy1126



3. I realized today how much Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson looks like that Russian spy who was poisoned a few years ago.



Freaky, eh?



Happy Weekend everyone!!





Thursday, January 17, 2008

Surprise!

So, I really need to start watching the local news!  I didn't even wear a coat to work last night and THIS is what I encountered on my way home.  Hmmmmm... you'd think a NEWS producer would have at least a tiny clue about the weather - but me? Not so much.



Washington DC is even more beautiful in the snow.  Here's my drive home.  You can't even see the Capitol at all.



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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Balance

... or lack thereof.  That's the theme today.  I have been trying to drink at least as much water as I do coffee.  So, last night, I only had two giant cups, instead of what I'm sure amounts to half a pot.



And I didn't make it through the night at work.  Thank my sweet Lord Jesus there's an Au Bon Pain in our lobby where I could get a SMALL hazelnut coffee just now.  But, I am not considering this failure. I refuse to.  I am merely trying to find the balance.  It may take a few days... or years... I miss my Lorelai Gilmore talking about drinking mad amounts of coffee - that always made me feel better.



So... apparently Matthew McConaughey is giong to be a father.  But that's okay because I'm totally okay with being a stepmother.



And sorry to be all Links 'n @ (shout out Becky) but you have to see this -- it's Katie Couric, in between live shots during the New Hampshire Primary. I LOVE behind the scenes stuff!  The best part is when she compares Cindy McCain to a husky.  Priceless.





Monday, January 14, 2008

Fuzzy Wuzzy

Will someone please invent a yogurt top that doesn't spit yogurt out at me when I take it off? Thanks.



I'd just like to say that my earings match my belt today and I'm pretty sure I should get a medal for that.



I am in a fog.  This switching back from dayside to overnights is for the birds.  If they can handle it.  But even if I was a bird, I think I'd still be dragging.



I woke up yesterday after sleeping for about 3 hours.  It was dark.  The clock said 6:00.  I was panicked.  I was staring at the clock but it wasn't saying anything back to me.  I realized it was dark, but couldn't comprehend what that meant.  Was I late? Was it A.M. or P.M.?  Did I miss work completely?  Where am I?



So... eventually I nodded back off.



Then I woke up way late last night.  In a daze. By in a daze, I mean it took me two tries to make toast.  Not anything fancy like french toast.  Just regular old toast with butter. Yeeeahhhh.



I was having a really weird dream about how I was on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border.  I don't remember what I was doing there, but it was really stressful.  So, then I turn on World News and Charlie Gibson's first story was something about how scientists created a rat heart in a dish or something.



Almost immediately, I began looking forward to today, when I can get back in my bed and go back to sleep.



It's workout day though - so I shall sleep after that.  Thanks for your comments on my mix.  Please share yours with me - we can motivate each other.



And here's to melatonin. Cheers!



Sunday, January 13, 2008

Mixing it up

I find that making a new playlist to workout to is almost as good as buying new tight black workout pants. Almost.  And it's free!  Here's my new mix:



1. Irreplaceable: Beyonce



2. Signs: Snoop Dogg, Charlie Wilson & Justin Timberlake



3. Everything's Magic: Angels & Airwaves



4. Fergalicious: Fergie



5. Clumsy: Fergie



6. Merry Happy: Kate Nash



7. Don't Phunk With My Heart: Black Eyed Peas



8. Mr. Brightside: The Killers



9. The Queen and I: Gym Class Heroes



10. Sweet Escape: Gwen Stefani



11. Who Knew: P!nk



12. Little Of Your Time: Maroon 5



13. Check On It: Beyonce & Slim Thug



14. Senorita: Justin Timberlake



15. Promiscuous: Nelly Furtado & Timbaland



16. Oh! Gravity: Switchfoot



17. Love Song: Sara Bareilles



18. Who Says You Can't Go Home: Bon Jovi & Jennifer Nettles



19. Never Wanted Nothing More: Kenny Chesney



20. Best Days: Matt White



Saturday, January 12, 2008

First in the Nation

That's what all of the T-shirts for the New Hampshire Primary said.  It was thrilling to be there in Manchester as the first (technical) votes were cast for the next president.  If you're not living under a rock, and well, even if you are, still, you likely know by now that Hillary and McCain won.  I was one off in my predictions this time.  Well, so were the pollsters! So, sue us. No, so them because I don't have anything worth suing for.



Debate night was BY FAR the most exciting.  We were on campus at Saint Anselm College where Charlie Gibson moderated the debates.  I saw soooo many newslebrities - I just made that term up, like it?  I can't even name them.  It was like my personal version of the People's Choice Awards.  I was too busy that night to take any pictures, really.  But one of the guys I was working with from Kansas City promised to send me some, so when I get those, I'll post them here. 



Img_0021 Here I am in a moment where I was able to escape from our table when our 11pm package was done, before I ran into the spin room for our live shots.



I'm with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.  They host "Morning Joe" weekdays on MSNBC.  I really like the show because all of the big national newsmakers and politicians are always either live or calling in.



And I just love their personalities and how the show is formatted around them.  Joe reminds me of Andy Fox of WAVY and Mika isn't afraid to call it like she sees it when it comes to trash like Britney or Paris and I love her for that.  Isn't it lovely how she's all like "we are sisters" in this picture?  She thought I was cute.  I want a job at NBC so hopefully cute works toward that goal.



Img_0022 I took this on my way to our 11pm live shots in the "Spin Room."  A lot of the candidates and their "people" were scrumming around in here and lots of reporters were doing live shots before and after the debates.  Yes, that's a gym.



It's not glamorous but it's a blast!



I don't even remember who was in this scrum.



But anyway, debate night was the best.  The rest of the trip was fun too, but I was a bit bored.  We spent the rest of the trip working out of our affiliate in Manchester, WMUR, which hosted the debate.  Our quarters were set up in a back room and we were doing live shots in the back of a U-haul in the parking lot! CNN was there too, but they had Budget trucks. 



The night before the Primaries many of the candidates stopped by the station to do interviews on WMUR's news.  I missed most of them coming in and going because I was out in the U-haul doing live shots with our reporters and photographers.  At one point one photog, Greg, and I were walking back in from doing a live shot and who do you know walks right in the room from another entrance across the room? Yep. Hillary! I don't know what happened to me - you know how I get strange in star struck situations (I need Gretchen to regulate me) I was just like "Heeeeeyyyyy!!" HA HA HA HA. She was all "well hello!" My co-workers were DYING laughing.  It was like me and Hil went way back.  Like we shared a locker in middle school or something.



Img_0025So my boss rushed over (she had her camera with her, I had to go get mine, apparently I don't listen to my own advice) and she got a pic with Hillary.  Greg and I missed out. So, we were sad.  Kind of.



I was really bummed because I think the pic would have turned out really great.  Hil and I are both blonde and we were wearing the same shade of blue.



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So, naturally, I made Greg pretend he was Hillary Clinton.



We took this picture right next to Duncan Hunter, who is a candidate (if he's still in) but I wasn't really interested in getting a pic with him.



He was talking to someone anyway. 



Plus, Greg and I had the matching jackets and all...



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Wes and Sally got to ambush Senator Clinton as she was leaving the station - so that was pretty cool.



I think they got Romney too, but I wasn't there.



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Because after just a few short minutes inside for the Hillary moment, we were back outside for the rest of Laurie's live shots!



Smile Laurie!



So, that was pretty much it.  I did get to go to one John Edwards rally at a school.  That was pretty cool. He had that guy from Desperate Housewives there stumping for him - I think I took a picture of him with my blackberry but I don't know how to download those.  I'm not the biggest Desperate Housewives fan, but I'll have to tell my sister about that.  I think he's a plumber on the show or something, James Denton.



Overall - it was a very exciting trip!  But I just get frustrated because I always want to do more!  I want to be where the action is, and I think it's harder that I'm THERE but I'm not really THERE, you know?  I did make some nice network news connections though, and a growing Rolodex is always a good thing!



Now - on to Michigan, Nevada, South Carolina and Florida!! I don't know of any plans to travel soon for me yet - but I hope I get another chance soon!  This race is definitely the most exciting story I've ever had a chance to cover in my career thus far. Hands down.



Barack Obama's rallies have the best music. Hands down. India.Arie "There's Hope" I love that song.  It doesn't get old to me. Ever.



Oh, and thanks mom - for the virtual note in my shoe.  It was priceless and when it got tough, I looked back at your loving words.  THANK YOU.  I need my e-mailing mama support, for sure!



Friday, January 4, 2008

These are my brackets

Barack_obama_portrait_2005Mike_huckabee_bioI don't usually talk about politics in this space because I know that it makes most of your eyes glaze over... but - Oh my goodness.  Could last night have been more exciting?  I was on my couch, GLUED to the TV.  On one channel - the Hokies were in the Orange Bowl (sigh, oh well... maybe next year) and on all the cable news channels - coverage of the Iowa Caucuses.



In the end, the winners were Huckabee and Obama - exactly who I picked! Yay! It's so exciting to be following the race for President.  Now, that REAL people have actually picked, it will really be something to see what happens next.



Who needs March Madness?  These are MY brackets... New Hampshire... South Carolina... Michigan.. Nevada..Florida... Super Tuesday? Who will make it to the end?  Who will be the next leader of the free world? 



I have almost always been a political news nerd.  I just haven't ever been paid to be in the thick of it like this.  Today, I'm getting on a plane for New Hampshire.  I'll be there for the debates this weekend and the primaries Tuesday.  I'm so thankful that I have a chance to be this close to history.



2008 is going to be an exciting year to be in national news.



Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Congratulations!

Shout out to Nick and Michelle - Congrats on your engagement!!Img_3304