Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Decor White House Style

Just in time for the holiday season, presidential pooch Bo Obama appeared in a Youtube video examining White House Christmas decorations.

Donning a red Santa hat, the Portuguese Water Dog wanders in and out of White House room, looking at decorated trees and piles of presents underneath.

At one point, he even finds a decoration resembling himself.  First Lady Michelle Obama said the edible, life-size Bo was made with children in mind.  It stands guard in the East Garden Room.

Complete with Nutcrack classic "Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy," the quick video makes the perfect Christmas commercial.

This season, more than 90,000 are expected to tour the White House for a glimpse of its holiday decorations.

Check out the video below:

So what did you think?  Regardless of your political affiliation, there's no denying that's one cute pup!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas in Rockefeller Center

NBC heralded the arrival of the 2012 holiday season with a dazzling display of musical talents and the lighting of the world's most famous tree, and I was there…well sort of.  I was on the 6th floor of 30 Rock, working on a"Christmas in Rockefeller Center" gallery for our 10 affiliate stations.  While I didn't see every performance with my own two eyes, there's no doubt I could hear every note sung!

For a few minutes I was even able to sneak into an executive's corner office for a peek of the 80-foot Norway Spruce. Despite performances by Mariah Carey, Rod Stewart, and the Muppets, the biggest star at the holiday spectacular was certainly the tree!  Donning 45,00 multicolored LEDs and a 550 pound Swarovski tree topper, its lighting rung in the Rockefeller Center holiday cheer.

Down there is the stage where everyone performed.
And here's what it looked like before being lit with 45,000 LEDs.
Today show hosts Savannah Guthrie and Al Rooker were the evening's MCs.  It all started with dazzling performances by CeeLo Green and Il Volo, but it was the Rockette's  high kicks that got the loudest crowd applause.  Thank goodness, they left their boring Macy's Parade costumes behind, instead donning super shimmery fringy leotards that rivaled even the tree topper's shine.
It looks like Santa found time to leave the North Pole for the night. 
The jolly holiday ambassador made a quick appearance in Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" number.
As the clock stuck 9, the big moment finally arrived...the lighting of the tree!
This year, thousands packed in the plaza for the 80th annual tree lighting ceremony.  But, did you know the tradition dates back to the Great Depression? First erected in 1933, the inaugural tree was decked out with only 700 lights and placed in front of the then eight-month-old RCA Building.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Roll Tide!

Like any good Southern Belle, SEC football is my life.  Every Saturday, from 3:30-midnight, I'm glued in front of multiple TVs, cutting highlights of the top football games.  But as the Alabama Crimson Tide played host to the Auburn Tigers for their 77th matchup, I was actually there catch all the action.
Truer words have never been spoken! 

All my life, I've heard about the intense intrastate rivalry, but no documentary can show what game day's really like.  For the fourth straight year, the crucial conference clash had BCS implications, so both Alabama schools brought their A-Game.

Even though I'm a huge U of A fan, I'd never actually been to a fall football game. So, attending the biggest rivalry of the SEC was certainly a great way to experience Bryant-Denny Stadium for the first time.
Now that's one proud Daddy! 
Never in my life have I seen so much camo, crimson, and houndstooth all under one roof. Of course, there was your typical fraternity boys, donning crimson bow ties and Alabama A pants, too.  Along with their constantly waving rammer jammers, there's no denying U of A students love their college football!
The Saban Nation hopes a 15th national tidal is soon theirs. 
Talk about a great half-time show!  The Million Dollar Band wowed the crowd with their gospel music-themed number.
Here's to hoping my little brother will be wearing their uniform next fall!  
As for the final score, well Alabama rolled over Auburn 49 to 0.  Of course, I expected the Crimson Tide to win, but not by so much!  AJ McCarron passed for more than 200 yards and four touchdowns, while RB Eddie Lacey rushed for 131 yards and two TDs.  But it wasn't all good news.  According to Coach Nick Saban, it looks like wide receiver Kenny Bell will miss the next five to six weeks.  From his play-making skills in the second, he now suffers a broken leg. 

The Iron Bowl W means the Tide will take on the No 3 Georgia Bulldogs next Saturday, with the champ likely receiving a BCS shot.  All I can say is Roll Tide! 

Friday, November 23, 2012

What Would You Do For A Good Deal?

As the clock struck 10, I snapped a picture mid-frenzy. 

While a trip to Walmart is itself a noteworthy task for someone whose normal full supermarket could fit in just their toiletries section, today it's making the blog because of Black Friday shopping. I'm well aware of all the controversy behind their Thursday, 8pm open time. But if you're a poor college student like me, being there right when the doorbusters began was an absolute must.

The entire Walmart parking lot was a motor city madhouse.  Every buggie was in use, and teenagers were camped out in the electronics section waiting for the latest Assassins Creed to go on super sale. And there I was smack dab in the middle of about your kick off to the holiday season!

My mom wanted a super fancy 23 piece Paula Deen cookware set, and it had to be in robin egg blue. So, I elbowed toothless rednecks and grey-haired grannnies alike to secure my perfect present. Originally retailing for more than $200, I got it for less than 100.  

Then, it was off to the freezer section.  Electronics were going on sale at 10pm, and the line wrapped around three grocery aisles.  Again, we were successful!  
We stood by the Mayfield Peppermint Stick ice cream for so long.  As the clocked kept ticking, the new flavor looked better and better. 

Becky was a little tired, so she decided to take a nap on a cameo dog bed! 
After waiting in the checkout line for a good 30 minutes, we finally made it to the check-out register. My mom bought Becky and I two candy bars each, warning we had a lot more hours of intense shopping to go.  She wasn't missing a good deal because we were feeling sluggish.  Officially, I now know how Honey Boo Boo feels, being force fed Go Go Juice. 

Leaving the Walmartians behind, we made a quick stop at Kohls, but the long line in the cold kept us moving. It was off to Belk where boots were selling for $19.99.  If last night's any indication, every woman in Macon, GA will be wearing one of five pairs of high, Rampage boots. 
Way to many to wait in line at Kohls. 
But we were willing to wait in the Belk line. 
Talk about your shoe madness! 
Around 2am, my six Reese's cup were wearing thin.  We had two options--either buy more candy or head home.  Thank goodness, we chose the later! 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

It's Turkey Time

This Elf on the Shelf
ballon wonders do you believe? 
Thanksgiving Day...a holiday devoted to family, food, and football!

Like all great Turkey Day fans, mine of course began with the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer were excellent NBC MCs, spewing funny factoids for a full three hours.  For instance, did you know it would take 6 days to bake the poultry featured on Tom the Turkey float?  Twelve marching bands played through the streets of Manhattan, while favorite balloons like Buzz Lightyear and Kermit the Frog dominated the Thanksgiving skyline.  Always the crowd favorite, the Rockettes may have worn less than wowing costumes, but the stars of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular did have perfectly precise high kicks. And, at the stroke of twelve Santa officially ushered in the holiday season, ending the parade in front of Macy's Herald Square.
Now that's one BIG turkey!  
That's one jolly Santa Claus! And, of course, Mrs. Claus is looking quite cute in her velvety-green number.  
Even google's getting in the holiday spirit. 
Paula Deen would be quite proud with the amount
of butter needed for this holiday favorite! 
Next, it was off to my momma's Southern kitchen.  We'd done most of the prep work last night, but a few things remained to be made, like my all-time favorite holiday dish---sweet potato souffle. Thanksgiving dinner may be done, but you should definitely save this recipe and try it out for Christmas!

Potato Souffle Ingredients:
- four 15oz. cans of Sugary Sam's yams
-two eggs
-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
-1/2 tsp. nutmeg
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1 tsp. vanilla
-1/2 cup milk
-1/2 cup butter
-1 cup sugar

Use mixer to blend your ingredients thoroughly.  Be sure to smooth out all the potato chunks because it should be about the consistency of thick paste. Place in a buttered 13x9 dish.  Set aside and mix up your topping.

Topping Ingredients:
-1 cup brown sugar
-1/3 cup flour
-1 cup chopped pecans
-1 stick of butter

Combine the brown sugar, flour and butter.  Spread the mixture over the souffle and generously sprinkle on the pecans and marshmallows.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350ยบ. Enjoy!

As for now, well dinner's all done, and the dishes have been put away.  Of course, our family's got football on the brain. The Texans beat the Lions 34-31, and in the third RG3 and the Washington Redskins lead 28-6 over the Dallas Cowboys.
Alabama isn't playing Auburn until Saturday, but RooToo and Saban
came to Thanksgiving dinner all  ready for the 2012 Iron Bowl! 
Perhaps a quick nap is in my future as I prepare for our midnight, Black Friday shopping.  We've gone through the Macon Telegraph-which featured an adorable Thanksgiving themed color sheet-and plotted our our plan. Here's hopping for great bargains!

Only in Macon, GA would an entire page of the paper be devoted to coloring a feathered friend!  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Feed 500

Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  In fact, this time tomorrow I'll be on a plane headed back to Georgia.  But, not all New Yorkers will be enjoying a delicious home-cooked meal come Thursday.

In just one year, theumber of homeless people living on the streets of New York has increased by 23%. Each night, more than 3,000 call it their home.  but one NYU club is doing its part to change these statistics. And, I've got their story for us now.

Sow what did you think?

And, if you'd like more information on NYCUP, be sure to check out their website.  

They're constantly hosting awesome events!  

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Movie Review: Wreck-It Ralph

I'm not ashamed to admit it...I absolutely love Disney/Pixar movies.  So, while most New York City twenty-somethings spent their Friday soaking up the nightlife, I went to the movies to see Wreck-It Ralph.  Judge if you'd like, but I've got no regrets!

It's the tale of an arcade game villain who dreams of becoming a hero.  As his name suggests, Wreck-It Ralph breaks things. But he's tired of being of being overshadowed by "good guy" Fix-It Felix. So, we takes matters into his own giant hands, traveling between games on a quest to finally win a gold medal.  Along the way, he meets feisty game glitch Vanellope von Schweetz from the candy-coated racing game, Sugar Rush.  Like Ralph, she's a misfit. Vanellope's been excluded from racing because a buggy code sometimes makes her pixelate and twitch.  Similar to any good Disney flick, it's up to the unlikely duo to save the entire arcade after a deadly enemy is unleashed.
That hair's one sticky situation.  I wonder how long it takes her to get those sprinkles and peppermints out? 
Wreck-It Ralph proves there's a place for videogame-themed movies at the box office.  Fans of older games ill enjoy seeing classic characters like Tapper and Pac-Man, while youngsters will recognize recent characters, like Sonic the Hedgehog.  Plus, with an over 30-year history of games and characters, there's an endless possibility for future sequels and shorts. 
So many cute characters....And, those giant cherries from Pac-Man look delicious! 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

It's a Hard Knock Life!

Love the new Logo! 
As the countdown for Thanksgiving break narrows, my school work is piling up!  I should have spent the day busy in Bobst.  But what's the point of living in New York City if you can't take advantage of its perks?

The Mayhews (you may remember them from the infamous "Join the Mayhew's Maybe" video) were taking a group of students to see Annie, and when someone backed out at the last minute, I quickly jumped on the Broadway Bandwagon.

No surprise here I'm sure, but the orphans were of course super cute and uber talented.  Miss Hannigan was the ultimate villian, and Daddy Warbucks was the best mean-billionaire turned loving father.  Plus, any show that features a precious pooch is an automatic must-see in my book.  And as for the price, well thanks to the student discount, it only cost me $10!

And just before they sing "It's a Hard Knock Life," the opening stage is set with laundry lines. 

It was too early for an official "Annie" souvenir playbill, so I'll have to settle for my ticket stub.  Although I will admit I paid way to much for a delicious Strawberry Banana Annie Smoothie.

So much merch with "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow." Why am I not a 10 year old with a crazy stage mom who forces me to audition for broadway shows?  
So, I should have been working on a paper, but instead I spent a few hours working on this "Join the Mayhews Maybe" poster.  And, also might I add that in the show, Annie's hair was 100% real.  No disgusting, bright red afros for this show.  Instead, the director prefers natural dos. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Yes, News Does Exist Post Election Day

News. News.  And more News.  After an entire week living South of Power, I'm relieved to say over the past three days I've spent a grand total of 25 hours in the newsroom!  I'm up to date on the latest headlines and couldn't be happier!  So, just incase you've missed it, here's the news you need to know.

Obama Wins
Of course, the biggest headline of the day is President Obama.  After more than 100 million Americans cast their ballots in the heavily contested race, it's four more years in the White House for the Democrats.
As the final results were tallied, I was on the 6th floor of 30 Rock, busily cropping photos and writing captions for the Road to the White House gallery.  But, just outside, the famous Rockefeller Center was transformed into Democracy Plaza. 
And, here's what the ice looked like before the electoral votes were decided.  
Boehner Chats on Trimming National Deficit  
In an effort to avoid the fiscal cliff hanging over Congress and the rest of the country, House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday that he's willing to work with Democrats and accept new revenue increases "under the right conditions." Just one day after President Obama won a second term in office, Boehner's remarks could signal House Republicans are more willing to negotiate a budget deal now that the 2012 election season is over. "If there is a mandate in yesterday's results, it is a mandate for us to find a way to work together on solutions to the challenges we face together as a nation," Boehner said in the press conference. He did not specify where the increased revenue would come from, but suggested possible sources: "Does the increased revenue come from government taking a larger share of what the American people earn through higher tax rates? Or does it come as the byproduct of a growing economy, energized by a simpler, cleaner, fairer tax code, with fewer loopholes, and lower rates for all?" Still, he said he has not changed his position against raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

This Little Thing Called a Nor'easter
With its heavy rain and wet snow, the nor'easter inflicted another round of damages for thousands of people still reeling form Superstorm Sandy. As the intense storm blustered into New York and New Jersey, some 22,000 new power outages have been reported. The Long Island Rail Road stopped commuter trains again, and airlines canceled at least 1,300 U.S. flights in and out of the metropolitan area. "I am waiting for the locusts and pestilence next," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said. "We may take a setback in the next 24 hours." Under ordinary circumstances, a storm of this magnitude would not be ca

California Man Behind Anti-Muslim Film Receives Prison Sentence 
The California man behind the anti-Muslim video that led to violence across the Middle East has been sentenced to one year in prison, reports the Associated Press. Mark Basseley Youssef faces jail time for violating probation from a 2010 bank fraud conviction. On Wednesday, Youssef was immediately sentenced after admitting to four violations. None of the transgressions have been linked with content from "Innocence of the Muslims," his film depicting Mohammed as a religious fraud, pedophile, and womanizer.

Random, but for those of y'all who know my dad,
do you see the resemblance too? 
And just for fun...

Tom Hanks Plays Walt Disney?  
Name a role Tom Hanks can't play?  Yeah; I couldn't think of one either.  Recently,  the two-time Academy Award winner has been spotted with new facial hair while promoting his latest flick, Cloud Atlas.  And finally, the mystery behind the stylish stache has been revealed.  He'll be playing Walt Disney is the upcoming drama "Saving Mr. Banks."  The film follows Disney's 14-year effort in persuading the author of Mary Poppins to sell the book's movie-making rights. Don't expect to learn much more about the man behind the mouse; its story instead revolves around the difficulties behind the classic, like Dick Van Dykes's epic battle with the English accent.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Update With Pictures

3 days down without electricity or water below 39th Street, so I've traded in my comfy Chinatown room for an army cot in Kimmel.  For NYU students, our activities center has been turned into a refugee camp.  It's one of the only locations where toilets are flushing, and hot food's being served.  But, we're making the best of it.  And, now that I'm clean--I literally just went to a random girl's room and asked if I could borrow her shower--all's well in the world.

And as for documentation...
Poor teddy bear.  This lonely guy reminded me of Lots O Huggin' Bear. 
And as we walked up Lafayette Street, trees were down all around.
The Houston Street Silver Spurs provided me with my first hot meal post-Frankenstorm.  Sure, they may have been lacking power, but their grilled cheese sandwiches and sweet potato french fries were delicious.  
"You are more than what you are going through"...words to live by--courtesy of random residents on the 9th floor. 
And as the rain rises, sandbags decorate the Lower East Side.
As we walked down West Broadway, the Barola flag was completely shredded. 
The traffic lights are out. 
And Broadway's dark tonight...those are just car headlights. 
And here's my new home.  Of the 500 sleeping in Kimmel, about 50 cots are lined up on the 5th Floor of GCASL.  My new "bedroom" may not have walls, but it should be no surprise that the polka dots are present.
And here's our first glimpse at civilization.  Starting at 26th Street traffic lights are present if you're on the East Side, but everything past Broadway is total darkness until 39th Street.  Frankenstorm's literally divided the town into two Manhattans.