Tuesday, August 31, 2010

In just a few minutes . . .

. . . my friends at the D-News will be in a staff meeting in which the findings of a new study will be shared with them. Basically that's code for "most of you are going to be fired." Or at least that's what people are saying at the paper. We'll see.

Meanwhile, I have spent the last few weeks feeling sick at heart for these friends of mine who are worthy, died-in-the-wool newspaper people and who have worked hard over the years to honor that which is best in the profession of journalism. Nobody knows where the world of print news is going, and I'm not unsympathetic to management trying to figure out how to make things work in this new media world. But still. I can be sad, can't I?

Me, I'm personally worried that as news lives more and more in cyberspace, such traditional practices (requirements!) of checking, double-checking and triple-checking vetted sources will just go out the window due to a lack of time and money both. From here on out, I fear it will be all spin. All opinion and agenda-driven. I know there are people out there who will say BUT THAT'S WHAT THE LAMESTREAM MEDIA does already. Well, here's my response: people who make this claim only prove that they are, in fact, ignorant and naive and terribly fond of playing the victim. They truly are.

Here's hoping for something good to come out of this all. Not that I'm feeling very hopeful.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Food and rainy weather

So I've lost a leetle weight this summer--and while losing weight is never easy for someone like me who stops three times on the way to Evanston for snacks, it's easier in the summer, because of all the grilling! also fruits! also vegetables! And when the sun is out there just shining shining shining away, you don't feel like eating heavy, right? And then you get lulled into this false sense of security that even when fall comes you'll just kind of keep grazing away on nuts and berries and possibly twigs.

And then one day fall comes in the shape of a major autumnal rainstorm so intense that you think the thunder is going to split your roof in two. Like this morning in Salt Lake, for example. And then you get out of bed and notice the gray sky and you think PLEASE LET ME FIND THE FIRST TROUGH FULL OF MEXICAN FOOD AND HONEY I'LL JUST FALL FACE FORWARD IN IT. And eat. And eat. And eat. Until March.

That's what I'm feeling like today. Eating until March.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Well, I'm pleased

That MODERN FAMILY won best comedy series. And what do you know? They managed to finish up the whole thing by 9:00?

Meanwhile, Sara Zarr is right. I oughta sign up for Twitter.

I love Tom Selleck

But I'm a little worried that he's using Grecian Formula on his moustache. Which is troubling.

my favorite Laurence Fishburne role

Cowboy Curtis on PeeWee's Playhouse. Good times.

Please, Al Pacino, please!

Stop. Talking.

Sympathetic embarrassment

It's when you feel embarrassed for people who don't feel embarrassed for themselves. I'm starting to feel it right now for Al Pacino, although I'm not sure exactly why . . .

Oh, Jewel

Your voice is kinda irritating.

But I'm loving these clips of the people who've passed on this past year. Didn't John Forsythe have the best voice ever? And wasn't Rue McClanahan simply the sexiest? And Peter Graves. Oh I LOVED him so much in MISSION IMPOSSIBLE--the TV show, not the movie when he betrayed Tom Cruise and the rest of us, too. And Lena Horne--certainly she was one of the most beautiful singers to croon a tune. Loved Edward Woodward in THE EQUALIZER--that show always brings back happy memories of graduate school.


Besides having an uber cool name, January Jones is talented and fabulously gorgeous. But this dress tonight? The bustier looks like that pair of blue Nike swim goggles I just bought at Big FIVE. (On sale!) (Score!) And the bell skirt looks like that big plastic collar thing my dogs wear when they're not supposed to lick their stitches.

Meanwhile Julia Ormand is kind of making me nervous. Like I just turned down the television sound because I started feeling a lot of sympathetic embarrassment for her when she totally forgot Catherine what's-her-name's name.

The long hair debate

Tell me. Can a woman over 50 wear her hair long? Like Kyra Sedgewick for example?

My mother wonders this. Loudly. In my presence.


Ken loved her. She was his secret crush.

And she does look very lovely tonight. I can still remember going to the old Academy Theater in Provo with my mom, Ruthann Hudspeth and a truckload to kids to watch VIVA LAS VEGAS.

I still love that movie.

Having 80's flashbacks

m-m-m-m-m-m-m. Tom Selleck.

Shelf life

So I have this pattern. I discover a show and LOVE IT so much I want to marry it. But then, even though the quality remains high, I become less and less interested. And then I stop watching it altogether.

Examples? THE OFFICE and 30 ROCK. Unlike certain series that went dramatically downhill after the first season (remember MIAMI VICE), I think those shows still bring it week after week. But I kinda don't care anymore.

I hope I won't feel that way about MODERN FAMILY. And I hope MODERN FAMILY (in the words of all those characters in THE OUTSIDERS) stays gold.

PONYBOY: Stay gold, MODERN FAMILY! Stay gold!

On the other hand, I never did get tired of FRASIER. Or MAGNUM P.I.

The best-looking couple on TV

Olivia and Elliot from LAW AND ORDER SVU.

I love this question and answer format.

And, Lisa B! Did you just see that one of your darlings (i.e. MAD MEN) got an emmy?

Too many black dresses tonight, though.

OH! I FAINT! Dan Draper is beautiful. Beautiful beautiful beautiful.

Don't you think . . .

. . . it's somehow appropriate that one of the winners for the reality TV category just tripped and lost her shoe on the way up to the platform?

Why don't I like

Lea Michelle so much?

On the other hand, I sort of like Julia Louis-Dreyfus' dangly green earrings . . .

I do love

Jim Parsons.

But really? Steve Carrell still has NOT won an Emmy? Is that true? He's like the Susan Lucci of night time TV.

Memo to L.L. Cool J.

Lose the hat.




Oh, Lauren Graham is so pretty. But oy! That dress looks like maybe something you would put together for a bridal shower game if someone gave you a couple of garbage bags and said OKAY GIRLS!! YOU HAVE FIVE MINUTES!! HAVE AT IT!!

We love Betty White, don't we?

And a pie in the face? Still good for a laugh at this house.

YIKES!! It already started!

I was in the kitchen! Eating!

But now I just turned on the TV and see where MODERN FAMILY won an Emmy for writing? Was that it? In which case I am happy because THAT is a show that cracks me up. I'm especially fond of Gloria, and (actually) I do a pretty good Gloria imitation. "I PROMISE! I AM NOT A BAD DRIVER!"

Live-blogging: the Emmys

JUST realized the Emmys are tonight. I had so much live-blogging about the Oscars that I think I'll give the Emmys a shot this evening. This will give me something to look forward to as I endure various meetings in the morning.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bucket List

The column this week was about Bucket Lists, so Jimmy (the uncle who thought about relieving himself on my son in the name of medical science) wrote to ask what items were on my list. It's been fun to think about this. However, please don't feel like you have to read mine--go ahead and draw up your own list.

1. See the Northern Lights
2. Walk across England
3. Run a marathon (but not this fall)
4. Write a mystery for adults (maybe)
5. Take our kids and their spouses on a Baltic cruise like my parents did for my brothers and me. (Hopefully the guy sitting across the aisle from us won't die this time)
6. Tour the UK (including the Isle of Man) with Ken
7. Own a black pug and name him Misery
8. I know I should want to visit the Holy Land--just not sure that I really want to
9. Go to an actual Philadelphia Eagles game
10. Get a new wedding ring to replace the one I lost 30 years ago

You'll notice I didn't say PUBLISH a mystery. I tried to include things I actually have a leetle control over.

BONUS: If you haven't already, go on over to Sara Zarr's website (www.sarazarr.com) and read her recent post about writing careers. I loved what she said about writing and money. This has given me something really important to think about.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's amazing she doesn't weigh a ton--literally

So here's the thing about the Rodeo Queen (aka my mother). For most of her life she was a willowy, lissome lass. In spite of the fact she pounded back Hershey Bars and glasses of milk all the live long day like Snooki tucking into another margarita. She still loves to snack, which is why she had the following items in the car when she picked me up monday morning.

1. Hummus
2. Flatbread
3. Little sandwiches with cream cheese filling
4. Several boxes of Coffee Nips
5. Sees suckers in a HUGE plastic bag.
6. Multi-grain chips. Because you know. Multi-grain crap is good for you.
7. Lots of diet Cokes and (because she loves me) many Dr. Peppers. Cold. In a can. Shaken. Not stirred.

However, we made three stops before reaching Evanston (which is only an hour or so from Salt Lake) to buy more snacks so we could "keep our strength up." This is what we bought.

1. Corn nuts (ranch-flavored)
2. Dots (the last time I ate Dots was at a movie at the Academy Theater in Provo. I believe the years was 1965.)
3. Wasabi-flavored almonds
4. Farr's cherry mound
5. Farr's huckleberry mound (so we don't get in a rut with the cherry mound)
6. Peanut M & M's
7. Regular M & M's

Also, before we got out of Salt Lake we went through a drive-through and purchased smoothies.

I love my mother. So much.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Big Piney

I'm off to Wyoming for a few days with my mom (aka the Rodeo Queen) to visit our relation Ava. Ava is ninety. She still can do the splits and she loves a quick trip to Wendover when the weather and the Lord permits.

Meanwhile, my column in the d-news today is about going up in a hot air balloon but I didn't mention the best part, which is that when I was dangling 11,000 feet above the ground, I got a text from my dad. My dad! Texting!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Some summers are like that

It's just been a trying summer all around for our boy Geoff, a fact I was recently discussing with my brother Jimmy. So Jimmy and I reminisced about those moments on the beach in June when suddenly Geoff emerged from the ocean with blood spurting like a gieser from his foot because (of course! why not!) he'd been stung by a stingray.

(Interesting side note: Did you know that roving gangs of stingrays have been terrorizing beach goers all summer long in southern California? It's true! There have been online news stories about The Rogue Stingrays of La Jolla and everything!)

Anyway, because we're from Utah none of us knew exactly what to do about Geoff's foot. So we sort of stood around and wrung our hands and looked at the foot in stunned silence while poor Geoff felt like he was passing a kidney stone. Finally Jim said he'd read somewhere that if you ever get stung by a stingray, you should totally pee on the wound. So in addition to feeling stunned, all of us started feeling mildly uncomfortable--the way you always do when someone brings up the subject of peeing on someone else.

FINALLY I just said to hell with it. Let's take the boy to the ER. And if they pee on him there, then FINE. So we took Geoff to the ER. As you already know.

But here's the story's recent coda: Jimmy called the other day and said it turned out he was wrong. If you get stung by a stingray, he said, you should NOT pee on the wound. That's the real rule. DO NOT PEE ON THE WOUND! NO MATTER WHAT YOU THOUGHT YOU READ BEFORE!

And then my fabulous brother made this very true observation: the only thing that could have made Geoffrey's summer worse was if his uncle had urinated on him in public.

So thank goodness we dodged THAT bullet.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Peaches are my favorite food. Which is why I bought six beautiful-looking peaches at a fruit stand here in the town the other day. But when I sliced one up last night I was STRICKEN to see that it was all pith. And things didn't improve when I popped that slice into my mouth. I have never ever eaten a worse peach. And I take that personally. DO YOU HEAR ME, UNIVERSE? I have graciously accepted a certain amount of bad luck over the past few years, BUT I WILL NOT STAND FOR PITHY PEACHES.

Anyway. I thought I could salvage them in a pie. My mistake, of course, was that I didn't bake a pie. I used Becky Thomas' muy famosa open faced cold peach pie recipe. And I served it at dinner last night. Guess what. Nobody--not even my Georgia peach peaching-loving daughter-in-law (she's from Georgia, get it?)--could eat it.

So then I gave it to the dogs. They ate the crust. And left the peaches untouched.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ten years ago today

So I have basically made a career (I think) of NOT telling people who my dad is, although I think everyone who reads this blog (thank you, I love you) knows that he used to coach football at BYU for a billion decades.

Anyway. I saw this article (see link below) in the D-news this morning, and it brought back a lot of memories. I got a call that other morning (ten years ago) from my dad saying he was calling a press conference to announce his retirement. That was the first I'd heard of it, because in truth the decision was a sudden one. I told Ken and the kids, and then I told my running partners Kathy and Sally while we sat on Kathy's porch listening to the birds and early morning sprinklers. For some reason I tried to do a cartwheel on the lawn and fell on my head. But I digress.

Later I drove to the stadium and went into the locker room with my mom and Dad's secretary, Shirley, where he broke the news to his players and a few of the sports guys from the papers. It was a very, very emotional moment--one of those times when you realize that life as you've always known had irrevocably shifted.

That last season was more painful than heady, although you can't complain about how it all ended that night in Rice Stadium. (My great friend Becky Thomas called that night, SCREAMING into the phone, saying, "WHO IS YOUR DAD'S SCRIPT WRITER?!" And then we decided if they ever made a movie out of his life, we voted for Gene Hackman to play my dad.)

As for me, I finally confessed that final season my lifelong desire to stand on the sidelines and watch a game up close and personal. My dad said why not? And why did you never ask before?

I can still hear helmets crashing, can still smell the scent of the field.

Here's the link to Jeff Call's piece.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The problem with . . .

. . . buying glasses is that if you're as blind as I am, you can't really see what you look like when you try on new frames at the glasses store. BECAUSE YOU'RE BLIND. You get the general idea peering at your blurry reflection in the mirror. But still.

Anyway. I decided I wanted my new frames to be kinda fun and funky, so I went to the glasses store, found a pair of red round rims and said to the optometrist "Sign me up." The new glasses arrived yesterday and okay. This is who I look like.

1. Linda Hunt
2. Myron Noodleman (google his name and you'll get the idea)
3. Possibly Al Franken

Also, I look mildly cross-eyed now and I'm all YES! I LOVE IT WHEN I LOOK CROSS-EYED. Who doesn't?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Could this be dementia?

First, a word to my son. I'm sorry you were traumatized by the thought of me cooing sweet nothings to your dad while also being a mummy in the bathtub. I'll send you therapy money along with that USU alumni magazine that's sitting on the table in the hallway.

And now a word about the state of my brain. We came up here to Deer Valley for the retreat on Thursday night. Naturally we brought suitcases. Heavy ones. But do you know that somehow I only managed to pack basically ONE OUTFIT? So I am dashing around day after day in the same black Nike dri-fit pants.

On the other hand, I did manage to pack five pairs of shoes, because you know how it is. Maybe you'll want to wear running shoes with those Nike pants. Or flip-flops. Or possibly that pair of Keenes you wore all over France last summer (your dad has the exact same pair). Or maybe you'll want to wear elegant little black flats you bought at Tar-jay one day whilst you were feeling fancy. OR MAYBE YOU'LL EVEN WANT TO WEAR BROWN CLOGS WITH THOSE BLACK NIKE DRI-FIT PANTS because nothing says, "Dude I am a freaking rock star" like a pair of brown clogs.

Worn, of course, with Nike dri-fit.

Friday, August 13, 2010

the opposite of prone , , ,

is supine. That's what I meant to say. I was lying SUPINE in the fancy tub, because if I were prone the mummy effect would not have been the same. Also it's hard to call your husband when your face is in the water.

fancy digs!

So Ken and I are staying up here at a tres fancy schmancy lodge in Deer Valley for his firm outing, and all I can say is that it's kind of weird to be lounging about in a room where the toilet costs more than ALL the fixtures in your own house combined. The bathtub is the most amazing bathtub ever. You know how bathtubs are in cheap motels (where I usually stay)--they're all super uncomfortable, designed so that you absolutely WILL NOT FALL ASLEEP IN THE BATH no matter what because that could be a lawsuit just waiting to happen.

But THIS bathtub is all long and luxurious. You can practically lie prone in it and feel comfortable. So I did that. I practically lay prone. And then I crossed my hands over my chest and closed my eyes and told my husband to come take a look at the mummy (moi) in a sarcophagus. A sarcophagus in the shape of a long and luxurious bathtub.

Also! I went up in a hot air balloon just like Dorothy and Toto! Like I always say, "To Kansas and beyond!"

Friday, August 6, 2010

Audio Books

I've said this before, but I've recently discovered the pleasure of being read to again--listening to audio books reminds me of elementary school days when you'd run around at lunch hours playing kissing tag (HERE I COME, BOYS!) and then you'd go in and have the teacher read to you for twenty minutes while you put your hot, sweaty little fifth-grade face down on your desk while breathing in the aroma of newly sharpened pencils and erasers and crap like that.

Those were the days!

Anyway, I just finished listening to a hysterical performance of QUEEN CAMILLA by Sue Townsend. The book was overlong, perhaps, but when it comes to the royal family no one brings it like Sue Townsend. WAY TO GO, SUE TOWNSEND! WHO'S YOUR DADDY?!

Now I'm listening to a David Baldacci thriller called SAVING FAITH, performed by your boyfriend and mine, Chris Noth (he of moody, broody LAW AND ORDER fame). I love me some Chris Noth but wow. When he tries to do the women's voices, I have to pull over, get out of the car, fall down on the nearest patch of grass and roll around while laughing hysterically. It's like watching all the football players dress up in drill team uniforms and do the jump splits during a pep assembly.

Thank you, Chris Noth. You've made me a happy, happy, happy girl.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Well, the spine doc yesterday said exercise EVEN IF IT KILLS YOU is good for herniated body bits. So I did go for a short, slow run in the park this morning. How slow was I? Even the world's fattest weener dog on a leash passed me up. And it was WALKING. More like waddling. But still. I did it.

Also, I am in serious Writing Avoidance Mode. I have a deadline today and I haven't even started because you know. I'd rather blog or get beaten in a foot race by a fat weener dog in Liberty Park.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

If you want to run a marathon . . .

. . . then WHATEVER YOU DO, don't write a column for the D-news and blab the fact to the whole world (not that the whole world reads the D-news). Because, doll, if you do blab the fact, the Cosmos will make sure you wake up one day with a herniated disc. Hahahahahah and HA!

UNCLE!!!!!!!!!!! Also, bleh. Icing and taking massive doses of Aleve as we speak.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Something I already knew

Apparently I'm all about having to learn the same lessons again. And again. AND ALSO AGAIN. (Case in point: seriously do not let me drive your car anywhere because it'll just end up being towed.)

Here's the lesson I revisited this morning. A friend gave me a book to read by an author whom she loves because this author is so funny. And when I got online to read reviews, everyone raved about the author's sense of humor. So I read the novel with high hopes. And while I thought portions of it were amusing (and a lot of the book was really clever), the jokes kinda fell wide of the mark for me.

So. What do I take away from this? That I'm humor impaired? Or that all those reviewers are humor impaired?

Actually, I think the real point is that humor, ultimately, is super subjective. Not everyone loves the same funny cup of tea. This is a liberating thought for me personally, because sometimes when I write my column I feel the disapproval of readers who think I'm "annoying" as opposed to "entertaining." Reading the novel helped me gird up my loins and say (with feeling) "to each his own."

I'm always happy to hear about lessons you have to re-learn . . .

Monday, August 2, 2010

Home Again

And I'm missing that girl baby.

Mostly doing re-entry stuff today--washing, sorting through the mail, regretting all the bacon maple doughnut bars I ate. You know. My usual thing. I did, however, make the decision to not leave the channel on cable news all day now that I'm kind of out of the habit.

For years I've been a cable news junkie. In the interest of fairness I watched FOX in the morning and MSNBC in the afternoon. But then I got tired of all the blond anchorwomen in cocktail dresses delivering missives on the economy so I pretty much quit the FOX and watched MSNBC even though Chris Matthews talks over all his guests and Keith Olbermann appears to be a prize jackass.

But lately I've just had enough--enough bile and enough yelling and enough GLOOM--to last me a lifetime. Or at least a week.

I'm savoring the quietude.