Sunday, August 30, 2009

My Dragon-Con Schedule

For any of you who might be attending this year's Dragon-Con convention in Atlanta, GA, here's my workshop schedule. Hope to see some of you there!! :)

Title: A Writer's Guide to Goth & Punk
Time: Fri 01:00 pm Location: Montreal / Vancouver - Hyatt (Length: 1)
Description: Explores ways that writers can create believable and accurate goth and punk characters.

Title: Blood and Fur
Time: Fri 10:00 pm Location: A707 - Marriott (Length: 1)
Description: Books about vampires and werewolves are enjoying a flight in popularity. Learn about new blood and the hair-raising resurgence in this growing genre.

Title: Time-Travel and Paranormal: What is it and How Do I Write It?
Time: Sat 11:30 am Location: Manila / Singapore / Hong Kong - Hyatt (Length: 1)
Description: The Pros of Time-Travel and Paranormal fiction discuss and answer questions about this fast-growing genre.

Title: Vampires vs. Zombies
Time: Sat 05:30 pm Location: Montreal / Vancouver - Hyatt (Length: 1)
Description: Authors judge the pros and cons of the living dead.

Title: Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy
Time: Sun 10:00 am Location: Montreal / Vancouver - Hyatt (Length: 1)
Description: Comparing and contrasting two similar but distinct genres.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Keeping Austin Weird

Just got back from a fabulous vacation in Austin, Texas. It was hot - but a lot of fun.

First, on Thursday night, we flew into Austin and headed down to Kingsland, Texas, where Jacob's parents have their lake house. I love that place so much - home away from home, definitely! I did a lot of swimming in their beautiful salt water pool.


Afterwards, their dog joined me for some sunbathing.


In the late afternoon, Jacob, me, his mom and sister headed out on the boat and zoomed around Lake LBJ.




Once in the middle of the lake, we took a little dip.


We drove the boat through Horseshoe Bay, where we saw some ridiculous waterfront mansions.




Back at the dock, even the dogs got a swim!


And Jacob's dad took a wine break.


The next day we headed back to Austin where we would crash with Jacob's sister Valerie. We tooled around town in his mom's Saab convertible - which was awesome. I soooo want a convertible of my own now!! I loved having the top down! We checked out some vintage shops for costume supplies and wandered down Sixth Street.

Sixth Street is a crazy mishmash of bars and live music venues and crazy shops. Very Austin. Very weird. The town's motto is "Keep Austin Weird!" It's definitely not one of those cookie-cutter strip mall towns of middle America.




At night we met up with Jacob's friends Josh and Christina and we, along with Valerie and her BF Jim, went to famed Austin taco bar, Gueros. It's rumored that it's one of director Robert Rodriguez's faves. I had yummy fajitas.



We headed down to the bridge to see if we could see the bats fly. Every evening in the summer, thousands and thousands of bats fly from their roosts all at the same time. Sadly we were a few minutes too late! As you can see from the pic, though, it's quite the tourist attraction.


On Sunday, we headed to church - Christina and Josh's son Derek was getting baptized and Jacob was godfather. Derek looked so cute in his 100+ year old christening gown!


Sunday night we joined some of Valerie and Jim's friends down in San Marcos for a Japanese steak dinner. Yum! I think I must have gained 10 pounds on this trip!


All in all it was a really fun trip! I'm sad to be back!! And let me tell you, though it was in the low 100s in Austin - it feels even hotter here in NYC today! Ugh.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Reporting from inside the Evil Empire

Yes, you read that subject right. Today I, diehard Red Sox fan, infiltrated the inner sanctum of the new Yankee stadium. All I can say is - wow.


Don't get me wrong - I love Fenway. It's got history. It's got a green monster. It's got a guy in a green monster suit. And it's...charming. In a 1920s baseball nostalgia kind of way.

But Yankee stadium was definitely a site to see. For one thing - it's HUGE. For another - no obstructed seats.


And for a third - it's got every food item under the sun - which was why I was there.


We were shooting a segment for BETTER about the various food choices at a baseball stadium. It's not just hot dogs and popcorn anymore. Imagine having fresh sushi, garden vegetables, fruit -- even a martini at your seat. OKAY, the martini was part of the LEGENDS club - which only a precious few people get to enter. ($2,500 a seat!)

Here is our intrepid guest host, Food Dude Kevin Roberts, enjoying wine and a martini. Yes, it not only looks like an accident waiting to happen, we did manage to break both those glasses before the shoot ended. Luckily the Yankees were super nice about it!


I must say, The Legends Club was something out of a dream. They had stations of every type of food under the sun. Amazing meats - from prime to even wagu beef. And a dessert bar that not only has delicious gourmet treats - but also penny candy. Yes, all you can eat! We interviewed the Senior Vice President and he told us that even with all the gourmet stuff, often people get most excited about the penny candy.

There was also all-you-can-eat cotton candy. Blue, of course. And really expensive scotches. And everything can be delivered right to your seats, which are, of course, the best in the house.

It was a really fun segment to shoot and they invited us to stay for the game, but unfortunately I had to go to work. And actually I don't really want to see the Yankees beat yet another team after that tragic sweep over the Red Sox last week. :(

That said - it was a fun segment to shoot! And I would love to - just once in my life - live it up in the Legends Club for real!! They got it goin' on. That's for sure.


PS No, dad, don't worry - I'll never turn into a Yankees fan--I swear!!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Jennie Garth

When I was a teen I used to LOVE 90210. (I was a Dylan girl, not Brandon, FYI.) And I especially loved Jennie Garth, who played Kelly Taylor on the show. I wanted to be her SO BADLY. Not to mention have her haircut.

I thought she was the most beautiful actress ever.

In any case, I finally, today, got to interview her. Which isn't the same as, say, going to high school and being BFFs with Kelly Taylor, but hey - it's close enough!

Me interviewing Jennie Garth

Like many stars, she was a bit shorter than she appears on television. Unlike many stars, she was a normal weight, which I found refreshing. (It's always kind of disturbing to interview these tiny 5'0 70 pound waifs.) Not that she's fat AT ALL - she's normal sized and still very beautiful. And her dress was awesome - I should have asked her where she got it. It's very "Mad Men", don't you think?

Jennie Garth at TJ Max Charity Event

She was there to promote a TJ Maxx Back-to-School Children's charity event. Basically if you buy a reusable shopping bag at TJ Maxx the company will donate a schol item to a child in need through the Save the Children program. A worthy charity, especially for a mom of three like Jennie.

Anyway, just thought I'd share! It's not everyday you get to meet your favorite teen actress - even if it is 20 years later!! :)


Monday, August 03, 2009

Weekend in Boston!

Spent the weekend in Boston with my good friend and fellow former Channel 7 coworker Mary. She lives over in the Navy Yard area in Charlestown now in a really interesting converted condo building.


It used to be a place where they built ships. Hence the narrow width and high ceilings. (Some say it looks more like a converted jail, but the apartments are a lot nicer than cells.)


The lobby and grounds are home to all these bizarre modern art exhibits...For example, a duckie and a light bulb...


The complex also has a pool and she and I, along with her friend Laura who was also visiting, spent Saturday afternoon lying by it and swimming. Was nice to relax. I've been so busy lately! Plus, in NYC you don't get much outdoor time -- especially this year with all the rain we've had!!

After the pool, we changed and headed down to Tavern on the Water, a bar/restaurant that is as its name implies, on the water. It sits on a dock in Boston Harbor, about a hundred yards from Mary's apartment. People pull up on their boats to dine there.

Tavern on the Water

You could see Boston's skyline. Which is not as large as NYC's but still very pretty.

mary and mar / Boston skyline

Mary's friends showed up and one of them, who owns a boat, took us on a midnight cruise around Boston Harbor. It was a beautiful night to be out on a boat. We found a dock just off a small island and hung out there, playing music and dancing. Was so much fun!

Aquapoloza 09


The next day, we headed to Saugus to take the dogs for a hike. There, we met up with my mom and we walked around Breakheart Park. The dogs got to go swimming and Molly had a blast. I took a little video of her and her "water crazies" - even at thirteen and a half she still goes nuts after getting wet. It's so funny. (About 20 seconds into the video she starts going crazy.)

Molly Water Crazies from Marianne Mancusi on Vimeo.

Needless to say, she slept well on the way home!

Tired Molz

In all, a perfect girls weekend was had by all! (Jacob was in New Orleans for a bachelor party.) I can't wait to go back! Summer in Boston is so much fun. It's just too bad it's so cold in the winter!