Friday, October 31, 2008

A boo-licious affair

My office had a little Halloween party and costume contest. The party involved all of us, the costume contest was truly just little. Four of us dressed up. I submit for your viewing pleasure, me in the winning costume.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A little snow in SOHO

Can you see it? Snow. If you look closely you might see the snowflakes in this photo ... maybe around the UPS truck? I promise you they are there.

Even the New Yorkers we met said snow in October is unusual, even a 5-minute snow flurry.

I love visiting the city, but every time I do, I realize I don't have quite enough black in my wardrobe.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Privacy and security

I was sad to read today that the Little Rock anchorwoman who'd been attacked in her home died yesterday from her injuries. Here's the story. The story quotes police who say the attack was random. My heart goes out to her family and friends.

When I was her age, I was a news anchor in a small Southern town. Luckily, nothing like this happened to me or my fellow anchors and reporters, mostly single girls who were living and dating. We had to consider our privacy and either pay extra to have an unlisted phone number or ask our roomates to put the phone in their names. And this was before Google and cell phones, digital cameras and Gawker-like sightings. It was like hiding in plain sight. I can't imagine how much tougher it is to do today.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Steve Rubel just told me about this nifty iGoogle gadget that lets me blog from Google. How cool is this? Thanks Steve. Thanks Twitter. Thanks Blogger. Thanks Google.

Halloween Treats

Just saw an article on Yahoo about the 10 most disappointing Halloween treats. And some stuff I personally love is mentioned. You can read the article here.

Candy corn? A disappointment? Really? I know it's not everyone's favorite, but I'm a fool for candy corn. My brother used to trade me all his candy corn for candy bars I didn't like, like Butterfingers. I always thought I got the better deal because there was way more candy corn for him to give me than Butterfingers for me to give him.

Smarties? Who doesn't like a roll of smarties? I know they go kinda fast, but they are just sugary fun.

Laffy Taffy? Now I am not a big laffy taffy fan personally, but my tween can't get enough of this stuff.

The other stuff on Ed's list I agree with: Necco wafers, raisins, apples, toothbrushes, pennies. Confession: my parents used to give out pennies for Halloween. One for each year of the kid who trick or treated. I spent several years after I was done trick or treating, helping them count pennies into trick or treat bags until I was able to convince them to just give out candy. I think we switched to fun size snickers.

And I do think they're fun size, Ed. I really do.
Aside from Candy Corn and Fun Size candy bars (except Baby Ruth. Yuck) I'm guilty of sneaking Nerds, Skittles and Twizzlers from my tween's haul. You can see last year's booty above. What are YOUR favorite Halloween treats? Tell me in the comments.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Stuff I learned or figured out from ConvergeSouth

I had a great time at ConvergeSouth on Friday. Hosted again by NC A&T State University (Aggie Pride!!), the conference was a full day of ideas and accessible thought leadership, tip sharing and affirmation.

I'm sure it's being blogged about more articulately than I am doing here, but it was really interesting to meet Robert Scoble (who is sure to add my business card to his 8 or 9,000 collection of them, even though they are just cold artifacts and old technology that does not add to the dialogue) and learn so much more about broadcasting. Because, you see, that's what I am.

I'm a broadcaster without a studio, without audio, without video. And it sort of drives me crazy. After 20 years of "casting", I stopped when I left TV. I think that's why I've been dashing so hard towards web, new media, social networking and these tools. That's why I say you can take the girl out of the newsroom but not the newsroom out of the girl. That's why I've been telling people for three years (since BlogNashville 2005) that blogging is like our Founding Fathers -- it's like Benjamin Franklin getting his own printing press and spreading his message. (And didn't I just feel so vindicated when Chris Rabb said blogging was like what Thomas Payne did with his pamphlets?)

What makes it so tough for me is that most nights, not five feet away from where I type is a Sony DSR-500. And I can't pick it up or use it. My husband's still in TV and shooting video. He's editing stories and posting them to the web. And I couldn't.

But, actually, I can. I own a cheapie digital point and shoot camera. A Kodak Easy Share. With a big enough memory card, I can shoot some stuff and edit it together. It'll be kinda rough. No lavalier mikes = crappy audio. Oh well. No light kits, no mixing audio channels, I don't think. But that's okay. And now I've learned all the places I can post it on the web.

I sort of thought I was too late for the party. So many people are doing so many interesting things with these tools.

But Anil Dash spent a good part of his time at ConvergeSouth letting us know that it's never too late to join the conversation, and that you have to communicate in the way you love to communicate. Some of it could be broadcasting, some could be social media, some could be blogging and it is going to converge so that going from platform to platform will be more effortless.

So I met some new people, regrouped with others I'd met before, found some new people to follow on Twitter and have had some more follow me. (Confession: I totally love Twitter!)

There is just one thing left to figure out. When the heck am I gonna sleep?

Banners, we got banners!

Okay, it's really nothing to brag about. But I made the banner at the top. I wouldn't call it pretty. I'm certainly no designer. But I'm just so happy to have made something that fit up there, that wasn't too small or way too wide.

I'd like to give a shout out to The Pioneer Woman, who decided to share how she makes her banners. She posted instructions here, which took me through the patterns and basic backgrounds. Then I just started fooling around.

And while I'm thanking people, how about Cathy Zielske who not only inspires my scrapbooking but also linked me to The Pioneer Woman? Please visit them both.

Friday, October 17, 2008

So much to think about at Converge South

Scoble: great info about ways to broadcast video on the Internet. Sites to check out: stickam, ustream, kyte, mogulus. Need to ask Santa for a flip camcorder.

Anil Dash: Social media's future. It's converging. Don't rush to try to join every network, worry about aggregators, etc. The information you need will generally come to you through your network.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My Cousin the Saint Book Giveaway

And while I'm telling you about contests to enter, you should head over to Bleeding Espresso and My Bella Vita. Not only are these blogs written by fabulous women who are now living in Italy, but they are also giving away autographed copies of Justin Catanoso's My Cousin the Saint: A Search for Faith, Family and Miracles.

Full disclosure: I am helping Justin get the word out about his book, published recently by Harper Collins/Morrow. It is a wonderful story - part travelogue, part memoir, part quest for faith. I encourage you to read it!

Handbag Contest

Okay, so I totally entered the contest at HandbagPlanet to win one of their giveway handbags.

I would suggest that you enter too, but wouldn't that lower my chances of winning? Oh, shoot. Go ahead and enter. Just don't pick my lovely green bag!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Polite Punk

So you know my oldest goes to parochial school. We've discussed the plaid. It's coming up on Halloween and it's time to figure out the costumes. Which is getting kinda tough because although she's just made double digits, she's tall for her age and doesn't fit into kid sizes. Heck -- she's about 1 size away from fitting in my shoes.

And you know what comes after girl costumes don't you?

Teen slut costumes.

Sure, the name of the costume is Little Red Riding Hood, but it's the Little Red Riding Hood equivalent of a French Maid costume. Since when did Strawberry Shortcake become sexy?
And Alice in Wonderland is downright disturbing.

Luckily, the Tween picked being a punk rocker. Ordinarily, you wouldn't think that was such a relief, but it's better than any midriff-baring, stocking/garter skimpy thing that you can pick up at one of the Halloween stores that pop up in empty spaces in shopping centers this time of year.

So, we found the cutest punk rock shirt at T.J.Maxx. She already had jeans that feature a huge hole in the knee. A rummage through some costumes a friend gave us yielded fishnet and stripey hand warmer/glove things. I have a belt from the 80's. She has a headset/microphone from a friend's birthday party makeover session. We've got a punk in progress.

Things we need to complete the look:
1. Pink hair dye spray
2. Dog collar choker
3. Black nail polish
4. Willpower for her not to bite her nails for the next 3 weeks
5. Black jewelry

We did find some cute punky high tops tonight at Payless. High top converse-style, with some graffitti near the heel and black and gray laces. The Tween thinks she's so stylin! I'm calling her look "Polite Punk" since she'll get to wear her costume at school.