It's official!

It's official!
David Stubbs Photography

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Would you really say that?

When I worked in the public eye of television news, I was disturbed by what nasty things people would e-mail anchors and reporters. I once had a woman tell me she could tell I was a *itch because of the way I tilted my head. Really lady?? In reality, when it was loud at my live shots, I apparently leaned my head towards my ear piece hoping I could hear better. People will e-mail and say all kinds of gross things online, because they are hidden behind their computer screens. Most people would never say these things to a person's face.

But I was lucky because my public eye was just a small one in Indianapolis. I really feel bad for movie and reality stars, because they have to deal with this nastiness on a daily basis. For example, I'm constantly shocked by what people post of the Facebook walls of the famous. It doesn't make sense because these people have a) gone to the trouble of looking this person up b) have chosen to "Like" them but then they c) decide to write something nasty underneath their posts. WHY? Why not just save the trouble, and not "Like" someone you really don't like?

I'm going to give a few examples of things I've read on FB walls this week and put them in real-life situations....

A) Your friend comes over to show you recent pictures of her wedding. She's just beaming as she says, look at my dress, my shoes! Your comment to her..."I bet your shoes will last longer than your marriage." Ouch. Or you say, "You're so sick! So many people are dying because they have no food, but you're buying these shoes. You're disgusting!" We'd never say these things, right? But that's exactly what "Sandra" and "Mahaly" wrote on Kim Kardashian's wall this week.

B) Your mom, who's been trying to launch her singing career, finally gets an appearance on a local morning news program. She's getting interviewed about her career and family. She's so excited..until your response is, "I pray to God that you're not singing!" Not happening, right? Well that's exactly what someone posted on  LuAnn de Lesseps's wall of the Real Housewives of New York City.

C) You can't wait to show your friends all the pictures from your recent New York City trip. As you're going through each one, your girlfriend says, "Wow, look at your camel toe! Gross!" Please. Do any of you have friends that would honestly say that? That's exactly what someone wrote on Jill Zarin's wall (also from Real Housewives of New York City.)

My point is this: Before any of us type anything, we should think about how we'd feel if someone said this to our faces, or worse yet, to our children, nieces and nephews. Let's teach them kindness and not hatred.

Now, do you want me to tell you about the time a viewer called me a slut?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Preparing for a hurricane--I've been there

Watching the coverage of Hurricane Irene feels eerily familiar to what I was doing 7 years ago while living in Southwest Florida. During a crazy weather pattern in the summer of 2004, I ended up covering four Hurricanes-- Charley, Francis, Ivan and Jeanne. (no, not Jeannie. Although I do pack a punch when needed.) 

I feel bad for everyone on the east coast going through this right now. I know when a hurricane is churning towards you, you get a pit in your stomach wondering what its path will be, question whether it will hit your town and if you'll be okay.  Best wishes coming your way, east coasters.

My summer of '04 taught me an important lesson about myself: I'm a pansy.

Punta Gorda, FL
It's true. You see, I have reporter friends who love covering storms. My friend, Melissa, is the first to come to mind. Before, during and after Hurricane Charley, she was such a trooper. She asked to go to an island location to get the most action. Me? I cried when the news director told me I had to leave with a photographer before they boarded up the newsroom doors.

"Where will we go??" I wailed. He said, "Someone secure. I'd recommend a parking garage." I then called my mom and Mike to tell them my final goodbyes. (What, dramatic? Me?)

Melissa then hopped in a live truck, ready for action. Me? I cried for another 10-20 minutes. (30 tops.)

Melissa looked like a solid pro, reporting live on the scene as the storm approached. Me? I looked like a drowned rat, ready for my impending doom.

Melissa then braved the category 4 storm, ready and willing to do live shots. Me? I hid in my photographer's apartment, using his pregnant wife as an excuse. What if she went into labor? I needed to be there to deliver the baby! (Although I pass out at the sight of blood, so I'm not sure how that would work.)

Melissa then spent the next 36 hours or so reporting from various locations, never skipping a beat. Me? Normally a calm person, I threw my work cell phone at a brick wall after being told I'd have to do yet. another. live. shot.

I guess part of getting older is accepting what you're good at and what you're not. I've realized I really do love journalism...just a whole lot better when there are sunny skies.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Is that an Olive Garden?

On a daily basis, I see Chicago tourists taking pictures of everything. And I mean everything. I'll be walking behind someone who abruptly stops, looks up, and takes a picture. I'll then look up expecting to see Superman, yet all I see is another building. Am I'm missing something? (It's kind of funny, because I wonder if all these pictures eventually become very boring slide-shows families around the world are subjected to. "Here kids is a brown building. Now here's a slightly different gray one...")

But I guess that's the thing about being somewhere you're not used to.... everything seems so cool.

I felt like a picture-taking tourist when I visited the lovely suburb of Evanston a couple of weeks ago. I needed to register for classes at Northwestern, and I talked Mike into going with me. As we were driving through the multi-million dollar neighborhoods, I started exclaiming, "My god, it's so green here! What's the deal??"

Mike: "Um, they have lawns, so it just looks greener."

Me: "Oh."

Me a few minutes later: "Wait, what's that crazy loud humming sound?"

Mike: "It's nature. I think it's locusts."

Me: "Oh."

Me a few minutes later: "Oh my goodness, they have a Red Lobster. Yum!" I immediately yell again, "And an Olive Garden right behind it! This place is heaven!" (Chicago doesn't have too many chain restaurants, hence the squeals of delight.)

We then parked downtown so we could eat dinner. It actually took me a second to figure out how to pay the meter. That's because it was a traditional meter box you put coins into it. In Chicago, all our meters were replaced by pay boxes where you put in your credit card, hit how long you'll be there and then print a ticket for your dash. City living actually made me forget the basics.

"She's Having a Baby" home
After dinner, I talked Mike into driving me around the neighborhood where John Hughes filmed the movie "She's Having a Baby" with Kevin Bacon and Alec Baldwin. (Every time I'm in the 'burbs, I find another John Hughes home. Jake Ryan, here I come!)

While we were driving around, we saw kids playing in the street and people sitting outside in lawn chairs just like in the movie. Isn't that cute? People were actually interacting with their neighbors. (For us, we don't know any of our neighbors and outdoor coversation is hampered by the loud sound of the El train whizzing by every 3 minutes.)

I guess the moral of this story is that everything seems much cooler when you don't see it everyday. Case in point: I almost took a picture of the city's first Chick-Fil-A the other day, because I was so stinkin' excited. Who needs city views, professional sports teams and museums when you have nuggets?????

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Life If Michael Bay Directed It....

Bumble Bee
About a year ago, I told you about all the excitement here as Michael Bay and crew filmed "Transformers 3" in Chicago. What made it even cooler was that many of the scenes were filmed in our neighborhood, in fact, some where right outside our high-rise windows. (Read those blogs here.) It was fun walking to coffee and seeing Optimus Prime and Bumble Bee right outside our building.

Finally last night, I got to see the movie and I thought it was really good! It was tough seeing Chicago getting blown up and destroyed, but a nice mixture of Patrick, Josh, Shia and Tyrese helped comfort me through. (I just can't decide who's the dreamiest!)

The thing about Michael Bay films is that they are a little predictable and have a certain amount of cheesiness, but I can't help it, I lap it up like a kitten with milk. Here's the thing--I think life would be SO much cooler if Michael Bay directed it. Think about it...

For example, we'd all walk in slow motion to a romantic song, and just when we thought our loved one was lost forever, the crowds would part and there they'd be. We'd run to each other, (again in slow motion) we'd embrace, and then the man would pick up the woman and twirl us around. We'd finish with a nice aerial shot from a helicopter showing everyone around us.

Also, every scene of our lives would either be a beautiful sunrise or sunset. And just to get perspective, we'd throw in some nice shots of Africa, India or Japan.

When times get tough, we'd have a nice montage with symphony music, showing us preparing for the fight. Tough day at work? Just throw a rifle on your back, and stare longingly out the window. Never fear...because you're a WINNER!

Worried about that bad hair day? With Michael Bay directing, you'll never have to again because you'll be a hot actress or model. And don't worry, even if you have to fight off autobots, you'll never even have a scratch on your face.

Frustrated with all the political wrangling in D.C.? I'd say it's time to get NASA involved and have some shots of low-flying helicopters, because people in low-flying helicopters know how to get stuff done!

Seriously though...I really enjoyed the movie and I made a decision about my own life. Mike and I need a montage of our love. You know--show the tough times (him not putting the dishes in the dishwasher)....but then showing him save the world, therefore I forgive the dishes in the sink. Won't that be cool?