Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

The Bee's guide to events, activities, arts and entertainment

December 29, 2006
One more thing ...

There are so many fun things going on for New Year's that I couldn't possibly mention them all, but I did forget to include one hotel party in my roundup of fun things to do. So. In the interest of attempting to be marginally encyclopedic, here's the scoop:

The Hyatt Regency Sacramento’s New Year’s Eve gala, hosted by Y92.5, will feature an Absolut martini bar, a fantasy casino and cover band Full Motion.
Prices: $59 for party only, $259-$329 per couple for party packages. Dinner seating at 6 p.m. For more info: (916) 321-3620 or

Happy New Year!

December 29, 2006
The year in song

One of my many (and I do mean many) New Year's resolutions is to get out and see more live bands and to buy more live CDs.

I'm thinking it'll be an easy one to keep because 2006 turned out a ton of great live shows and discs.

Here's an informal list of a few of my faves. And, no, they don't include my husband's bands - cuz you know I can't officially brag about them even if I do think they're both the most awesome-est ever. (If you know me, you know which bands I'm talking about; if not, just be assured that they are, indeed, awesome.)

Anyhoo, on to the other local stuff I loved this year:

Pets: They've been a blast anywhere and anytime I've seen them. This duo is fun and fresh. They always look like they're having fun, too, and they pretty much double dog dare you to try and not dance along. Their debut CD "Pick Up Your Feet" pretty much stayed in my car's CD player for a month straight.

Agent Ribbons: This new duo really seemed to come out of nowhere and to impress just about everyone. With Natalie Gordon on vocals and guitar/banjo, and Lauren Hess on drums, Agent Ribbons puts a modern edge on old-timey-sounding folk-pop. Love it. Plus, their handcrafted CD cases are just too darn adorable.

The Little Medusas: This three-piece makes me wish I could go back in time and convince my teenage self to put down the TV remote and pick up the guitar. Featuring DinoGirl and Whitless - both 17-years-old - along with Goovie Ghoulies frontman Kepi on drums is just pure pop-punk fun. Seriously, I can't get their song "Zombie" outta my head.

Bright Light Fever: These guys (pictured at right) are still really green but they make some supercharged indie rock and I'm curious to see how far they'll go.

The Helper Monkeys: Speaking of green - or bands that used to be - I remember seeing Panda Bear Greens wayyyy back in the day when they were just, literally, kids. Now it's fun to see what they grew up to be. Well, kind of. The Helper Monkeys may feature former members of PBG, but they're not really any more grown-up - and that's the fun.

The Devastates: Ted Angel, Kortnee Randall, Danny Secretion and Keith Lionetti make purdy country twang with a slight punk twist. It's like George Jones and Tammy Wynette for a new generation.

Danny Secretion: Speaking of Danny - I love the Secretions but I really love Danny's solo sets - his stuff reminds me a lot of Elvis Costello or Dwight Twilley...if they were writing about zombies and vampires.

An Angle: I'll admit I didn't love this band the first several times I saw them live - they reminded me too much of Bright Eyes and, while I love Bright Eyes, I don't necessarily love a band that comes along later and sounds like them. Then I saw a few more shows and then I really heard their song "Green River" and I was persuaded to join the legion of Sacto fans.

Army of Trees: I've only seen this band once but so far I like their brand of smart power-pop rock. Plus, they're super-nice guys. That always wins points in my book.

OK, that's it for now - send me local band suggestions and help me keep at least one of my 2007 resolutions.

December 28, 2006
Hair-raising day

Samy haircare products.JPGIf you're out and about in Sacramento today and are finding yourself chewing on your hair because of the wind (gusts up to 27 mph, we hear), a good dousing of heavy-duty hairspray is one way to keep your coif in place.

I know this sounds rudimentary, but having even a small bottle of spray (we suggest Samy, pictured at left) in your bag can keep you from looking like you got caught in a wind tunnel. (And it works nicely if you find a pesky hole in your hosiery, too.) Look for the words "firm hold" or "super hold" on the packaging.

And, yes, Final Net is still around.

get_wrapped.JPGAnother fashionable option is to wear a scarf that you might normally be tying around your neck. No, you won't look like someone traveling through Siberia. Scarves actually were meant to be worn around the head.

A tip: Place the scarf over the top of your head, then wrap it around your neck and let the ends fall down your back. Tying it under your chin does have somewhat of a Cossack look to it.

If all else fails, just tell everyone the touseled look is in!

December 28, 2006
Nostalgia trip, courtesy of News10

Dick Cable in 1998, dressed much better, we think, than in 1975.

As part of its coverage of the death of President Ford, News10 streamed its entire newscast from Sept. 5, 1975, on its Web site. (That, of course, was the day Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme tried to assassinate Ford, right here in River City.)

It's a great piece of history and, quite frankly, a hoot to watch. News10 streamed everything, including commercials. Be sure to watch the whole half hour, because some of the memorable moments come late in the newscast.

Here are our highlights:

* Anchor Dick Cable's wide black-and-white polka dot tie.

* The austere set and anchor desk. Is that blue shag carpeting?

* Sports guy Creighton Sanders and his hideous striped and checkered sports coat. (A full minute of the sportscast was the replay of a horse race from the State Fair.)

* Reporter Doug Kriegel's mod mutton chop sideburns.

* And then, the commercials. There's one for Pringles potato chips in which a husband verbally browbeats his wife because their picnic was ruined by soggy chips. But, by the end, the couple is reunited and happy because the Pringles stay fresh. The other advertising gem: A spot for Rudy Castillo Chevrolet in Galt.

* The weather "graphics": They consisted of watercolor drawings of the sun and mountain ranges, valleys and the ocean.

* Some things don't change. The temperature in Sac that day was 99 degrees.

* Oh, and by the way, News10's coverage (they actually called themelves "News Service 10") was comprehensive. We kind of liked the low-tech nature of the broadcasts: reporters reading from yellow sheets of paper, not teleprompters; few graphics; hardly any music or sound effects; and a plain blue background.

* One last thing: Not a peep of anchor banter.

December 27, 2006
New look for Channel 3

Sacramento Bee/Paul Kitagaki Jr.
Anchors Dave Walker and Lois Hart on Channel 3's set, which will be razed after today's 11 p.m. newscast.

Say goodbye to Channel 3's familiar wood-paneled set.

Starting tonight, KCRA newscasts will broadcast from a temporary set in "Studio B" while designers tear down and design a fancy new set to coincide with the station's foray into high definition broadcasting. (The noon news still will be beamed from a studio at the Arden Fair mall.)

Elliott Troshinsky, president of KCRA, won't reveal specifics, but Channel 3 will become the first local TV station to broadcast its entire newscast in HD sometime in February. (Currently, Channel 10 uses HD for some sports reports and a weekly travel segment.)

Be sure to read the Media Savvy column in Tuesday's Scene section of The Bee for more details. We'll present something of a requiem for Channel 3's old set and answer the question that viewers have been dying to know for years: Where does that winding stairway behind the anchor desk lead?

December 26, 2006
Fusing food and beauty

mineralfusion_collection.JPGWhole Foods Market at 4315 Arden Way boasts more than fruits and veggies - it's also a good source for specialty beauty products you won't find at the usual places.

For example, the store is now carrying a line of makeup called Mineral Fusion, which it launched last month. It's definitely a colorful collection, boasting more than 100 items, including face powders (both pressed and loose), concealers, lip products (lipstick, gloss, pencils), eye shadow, mascara and both blushers and bronzers. Prices range from $15 to $37.

The company touts its line as "W.R.A.P.-ing" your skin in antioxidants and other good stuff, such as white tea, red tea, antileukine 6 (helps with photo aging) and pomegranate.

If you're into organic, this is a good line to check out. Another bonus: Mineral Fusion products provide UV sun protection.

So, while you're snapping up oranges and wheat germ at Whole Foods, get your beauty thing on at the same time.

December 26, 2006
Sac sports guy to Houston?

Keith Norton, we hardly knew ye.

The Channel 13 sports anchor, hired over the summer from a station in Louisville, parted ways with Sacramento's CBS station in early December.
And on Monday, the Houston Chronicle reported that Norton - son of former heavyweight boxing champion Ken Norton and brother of a former 49er linebacker - is negotiating to move to KPRC (Houston's NBC affiliate) as a weekend sports anchor.

We at Media Savvy hear that Norton asked out of his Channel 13 contract to pursue an opportunity in a larger market (11th nationally vs. Sac's rating of 20), and that Channel 13 honchos were happy to let him go.

Certainly, in our humble opinion, Norton wasn't the most polished sportscaster in town.

One of his most memorable on-air gaffes happened in early August, after Roger Goodell was tapped to replace Paul Tagliabue as NFL commissioner. The Channel 13 anchors went to Norton in the newsroom for a live shot. He stumbled through a painful one-minute report, during which he completely and continually mangled the pronunciation of "Tagliabue" and hardly told the viewers much at all about Goodell.

Channel 13 now has Arran Andersen as the sole sports anchor. Bruno Cohen, president of channels 13 and 31, declined to say much about Norton's departure other than that the station will be hiring a replacement.

December 26, 2006
And starring as the Virgin Mary ...

chr craft

... radio talking head Christine Craft, whose latest piece of performance art-cum-political protest was to portray the Virgin Mary outside of a Christian bookstore selling the new "Left Behind" video game. (See our previous posting here.)

Craft objects to the violent nature of the game, she says, in which those who don't convert...well, let's just say they're "left behind." Here's a photo of Craft picketing outside the store.

"I think I made a pretty good virgin," quips the KSAC (1240 AM) liberal host.

December 25, 2006
Are you still in your pj's?

Old Navy pajamas.JPGIf you're reading this happy holiday blog item right now, I hope you're still in your pajamas!

I tried to find some stats on this, but couldn't come up with anything concrete. But, I have a theory that most folks would have no problem wearing their festive pj's from dawn to dusk today.

And, for those of you who might have received some comfy sleeper bottoms and a warm top (add fuzzy socks), who needs getting all gussied up in heels and hosiery?

I'm a firm believer in tradition: You wear your pj's until people in passing cars see you and start shaking their heads. I've worn mine every year to take breakfast/brunch to my neighbors across the street. They're usually something festive - maybe reindeer or dancing Santas - and I don UGG boots and a hat, sort of like the one that the kid called "Flick" in "A Christmas Story" wears. (By the way, if you haven't seen that movie, it's still playing on TBS, with a final showing at 6 tonight.)

Happy holidays, and I promise to be even more fashionable in 2007!

December 22, 2006
Throw another log on the TV screen

yule log.jpg

Yes, Virginia. That Christmas tradition, the Yule Log burning on your TV screen on Christmas morning, will be alive and well on Fox40 on Monday.

You've got to get up pretty darn early on Christmas to catch the log, though. (That's not a problem for parents with young children, alas.) The log will air from 5 a.m to 6:30 a.m. on Fox40.

Then, at 8 a.m., Fox40 will air a special, "A Log's Life," which according to the press release issued by the station, will help viewers "discover the mysteries behind the making of the Yule Log video."

Oh, we're so there!

December 21, 2006
I hate the word 'panty'

But it doesn't mean I don't want a free pair. My plans for the evening are pretty well centered on R15, but if I were to, say, be heading to Rebounds, Harlow's, Zokku, Monkey Bar, Cabana or Avalon, my dreams of promotional panties might come true. Each of the bars are slated for a "panty raid" tonight, where the good folks at will be handing out a free pair of red lacies to pimp their online service. It works like this: You sign up and, for $24.95, your fella gets a hot pair in the mail (um, NSFW?), which includes a secret note leading them to an online, private message, which presumably is totally hot. Me? I'm thinking of purchasing the service for Britney Spears, and not for the note.

December 21, 2006
Getting Smosh-ed again

smosh.jpg Speaking of our Smosh pals - the two budding film auteurs just got majorly namechecked.

The Dec. 25 issue of Time magazine just published a blurb on Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox (both based in Carmichael), dubbing them "the Saturday Night Live of YouTube."


Read the article here.

And, while you're at it, visit Smosh's MySpace page to download an MP3 of their new song "Boxman Christmas."

December 21, 2006
Where's Jen?

jen park
If you are wondering where Fox40 morning news anchor Jennifer Parker has wandered off to for the past few days - reporter Nina Mehlhaf has been sitting in - not to worry.

She's on maternity leave. Parker's second child is due Jan. 15 and, as she says, "I've always worked the holidays, so I decided it was a perfect opportunity to spend the holidays with family without the burden of going to bed so early."

Parker is scheduled to be back from leave at the end of April, at precisely the same time her Fox40 contract expires. That leads some (OK, me) to ask whether she'll return and seek a new contract with the station. (Yeah, we at Media Savvy are rude and prying, but that's what the job entails, folks.)

Here's Parker's response, via e-mail:

"I love anchoring the news in my hometown. It's why I got back into the business after leaving Seattle. And, as a journalist, I'm an adrenaline junkie, so when Fox40 approached me with this prototype newscast for Tribune Corporation, I thought I'd try it out. I was done by 8 a.m., which worked with the rest of my day.

"When I moved back to Sacramento in 2004, I also got involved in my family-owned- and- operated company, Parker Development Company. I'm the kind of person who'd love to be able to do it all...I am at my best when my plate is full. I'd like to think I can be the perfect mom, wife, journalist, and take part in the company my grandfather started 50 years ago.

"At the same time, I've never had two kids before and I'm sure it's going to be hectic. At some point, I may decide I need to sleep more than four hours a night."

Hmm. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, news director Tom Burke says the morning newscast will expand to two hours (6 a.m.-8 a.m.) starting Jan. 8. Mehlhaf, sitting in for Parker, will co-host with new hire Natalie Bomke (right), who currently is a morning anchor in Champaign, Ill.

Will the focus of the program change?

"Not dramatically," Burke says. "Anytime you add a co-anchor, a news show changes on its own. But we don't plan anything major."

December 20, 2006
Newscast a cut below the rest

Channel 13 breached the ethical line the other day with this report about "metrosexuals" getting makeovers at the Suede Salon and Spa.

The report came off like a two-minute informercial for the salon, complete with cheesy electronic music and the terminally chirpy Brandi Hitt adding the voiceover.

Says Hitt: "The term 'metrosexual' is now being thrown around a lot to describe men who take time to really groom themselves."

"Now being thrown around...?" Oh, c'mon. Metrosexuals were sooo 2002. And this story about men suddenly discovering moisturizing and hair coloring is such a cliche.

But where's the ethical breach?

It's this: Suede Salon and Spa has an agreement with "Good Day Sacramento" on Channel 13's sister station Channel 31 to provide hair care for the on-air staff. So I guess I can live with "GDS" doing at least one segment every week or so at Suede, because they run a disclaimer at the end of the show.

But now Channel 13 shilling for Suede without disclosing the relationship? That's not "news"; it's paid programming.

At least that awful "Sacramento & Co." on News10 is honest about its paid content, which is more than you can say for the Suede/CBS relationship.

December 20, 2006
Have yourself a Smosh little Christmas

KG-FILM-GUYS-2.jpgIn August, I wrote about Smosh, two Carmichael guys who have conquered YouTube with their goofy, witty homemade videos. Said videos feature pals Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox either dancing and lip-syncing to kids' TV show theme songs or singing their own songs. One of their clips - "The Pokemon Theme Music Video," to be exact - is one of YouTube's most-viewed videos ever.

Fast forward to the present and the Smosh guys have uploaded a new video for you - just in time for the holidays.

The clip for Boxman's Christmas (also available at is the heartwarming story of a, uh, lonely box who escapes near death (box cutter- wielding thugs) and, of course, discovers the true meaning of the holidays.

There's a rap, a lot of snow, danger, holiday lights and ... well, you kind of have to just watch it for yourself if you want to understand the worldwide phenomenon that is Smosh.

December 20, 2006
Pump it up!

Night-Magic.jpgSeveral months ago, I wrote about skin-care product containers and how, if possible, it's best to buy products that come in pump containers rather than jars to avoid transmitting bacteria to the product via your hands and also exposure to the air.

Well, Laura DuPriest, who has been a longtime local fixture as a hair stylist and beauty adviser, took those words to heart and revamped four of her most popular skin-care products' packaging, and they're really flying off the shelves.

"I saw that story about jars and thought I could come up with a pump that not only would reduce the risk of bacteria getting into the product but that also would release just the right amount of product," DuPriest says, "which cuts down on overuse."

The new packaging is for: Day Control moisturizer for oily skin ($16), Day Moist moisturizer for normal to dry skin ($19.95), Overnight Success glycolic treatment with aloe vera for acne-prone skin ($35), and Night Magic glycolic treatment with a moisturizing base for dry skin ($35).

DuPriest and her staff are about to celebrate one year in their new digs in Roseville, a block north of Douglas Boulevard at 8150 Sierra College Blvd., Suite 190. For more information: (916) 960-2468 or visit

December 19, 2006
KCRA's Cat Stuck in a Tree: The phenomena continues

You may recall the hilarious KCRA story about a cat stuck in a tree a few weeks ago. Video of the story itself was taken off YouTube after a few days, alas, but the four-second teaser lives on on the video-sharing site and has garnered more than 98,000 views.

In fact, it's spawned a minor vlogger frenzy on YouTube, with contributors giving their take on whether KCRA was going too soft by reporting such an earth-shattering development. Our favorite YouTube commentary comes from a guy from Sacramento who goes by the name "Liberal Viewer." He compares KCRA's news professionals to Kent Brockman from "The Simpsons."

Good stuff. (Oh, and if you missed the original tease, Liberal Viewer includes it right after the Brockman footage.)

December 19, 2006
The flip side of the 'War on Christmas'


Lefty radio host Christine Craft (pictured at right) of KSAC 1240 AM is known for her outrageous stunts. And she'll be at it again Wednesday at 11 a.m. when she and dedicated listeners stage a protest outside of the Berean Christian Bookstore on Alta Arden Expressway.

Craft and supporters are miffed that the bookstore - and other retailers - are selling a new game, "Left Behind: Eternal Forces," which is a spinoff of the "Left Behind" movies, in which bad, bad things happen to non-Christians. Craft and others have called it the "Convert or Die" game.
left behind.jpg
So, Craft says she'll dress as the Virgin Mary - a stretch for Craft, since she played Mary Magdalene at St. Philip School in Pasadena because "for some reason, the nuns would never let me play (the Virgin) Mary" - and carry the baby Jesus. Other Nativity scene "characters" will be represented, as well.

Why is Craft doing this?

"While some obviously think that blasting the bejesus out of people who refuse to be converted to born-again Christianity is a nice theme for a family game session at yuletide, I think, and a lot of listeners think, that the real baby Jesus probably wouldn't want to promote an intolerant killing game as a Christmas present," Craft tells us.

But Troy A. Lyndon, chief executive officer of "Left Behind: Eternal Forces," says in a statement on the game's Web site that "there is no blood or gore in 'Left Behind: Eternal Forces.' The game is designed to be a classic battle between good and evil, but it does not gratuitously depict violence or death...(T)here are no ‘objectives' to cause war physically. However, physical warfare results when the player is required to defend against the physical forces of evil."

OK, then. Happy Holid... er, Merry Christmas to all.

December 19, 2006
It's a Chrismukkah miracle!

What do you get when you mix the cold, hard commercialization of Hanukkah with the cold, hard commercialization of Christmas? A totally warm and fuzzy seasonal celebration called Chrismukkah

Chrismukkah, made most famous perhaps by "The O.C." (shut it - I love that show), is actually an age-old tradition. According to a 2005 exhibit at the Jewish Museum of Berlin, the practice dates back to German Jews in the late 1800s (i.e., my ancestral peeps) and was originally known as "Weihnukka."

OK, end of history lesson. This is what you need to know today: Our friends over at Lipstick (i.e. DJs Shaun and Roger) are mixing things up with the Lipstick Chrismukkah Party tonight. Rock on over to ye Old Ironsides (1901 10th St.) and get free cookies, candy canes and non-alcoholic eggnog.

Also in your Chrismukkah stocking: New tunes by LCD Soundsystem, Of Montreal, the Long Blondes and the Blow.

Party starts at 9 p.m. and admission is free before 10 p.m. After that, it'll set you back a whopping $3. Sorry kids, it's 21-and-over only.

December 18, 2006
Movie premiere in Sac

kelly.jpg"Producer Kelly" - a.k.a. Kelly Stringfellow (pictured left) - from "The Paul Show" on Y92.5 FM as well as a host of other local actors will descend on the Crest Theatre Tuesday night at 7 p.m. for the premiere of the feature film "Nine is Mine."

The film - no word yet on whether it has a U.S. distributor - is the brainchild of director-producer-writer Laura L. George and her Girl George Productions in Sac. "Nine is Mine," according to press materials, is a "suspense thriller." Judging by the trailer, it looks pretty darn scary and involves (eek!) snakes. (The film is rated R, by the way.)
Stars of the film include Jeremy London ("Party of Five," "7th Heaven" - pictured at right) and Randy Colton. Stringfellow, who just goes by "Kelly" on "The Paul Show," plays a character named Sarah.

On her Web site, Kelly tells us she is filming another horror movie in which she plays a leading role.

December 18, 2006
Scent of a woman or a man

DKGold_BLK.JPGWell, the clock is ticking, but I found the fragrance gift guide in Sunday's paper to be a real nose turner. If you're looking for last-minute gift ideas for her or for him, check out your loved one's perfume or cologne supply and supplement it with either a new bottle or perhaps a different version of their favorite scent, such as a shower gel or body lotion.

There's plenty to pick from. And, if you opened any of those little scented strips, you might have found a new scent to try - maybe even for yourself. One I'd love to have in my stocking - hint, hint - is Donna Karan's new Gold scent (shown above).

And, lest you think teen boys, oh, say, around 14, are just into smelling like sweat or something inexpensive, think again. My son is now hinting for a bottle of Giorgio Armani's Aqua di Gio. He took a whiff at a friend's house and says it's the new scent for him!

Maybe he'll get that along with a giant bottle of Eau de Dial.

Happy shopping!

December 15, 2006
Scotchy Scotch Scotch

I love Scotch. Scotchy Scotch Scotch. And if you read my night life column today in Weekend Ticket, you'd know that I recently went to a tasting of the finer stuff at Gallagher's Irish Pub and watched it go down, down into my belly.

As there is a finite amount of space in the newspaper, I couldn't issue the missive I would have liked on all the whiskey I tasted, so I thought I'd provide a little rundown if you, like me, don't really know what the heck you might like. Here are the ones I took note of:

Bushmills 21 year (that means how long it's been aged): All I wrote in my notes was "yum."

Connemara: Very intense and smoky, it tasted like a day-old forest fire to me.

Dalwhinnie: Aged in a sherry cask, it tasted a little sharper than its predecessors.

Clynelish 18-year: Yum! Very smooth and delicious, and apparantly made near the castle where Madonna got married. Which, of course, makes it taste better.

Oban: My personal fave, it was smooth and bite-less, but with a burn.

Here are a few more, recommended by Master of Whisky Stephen Beal and some of the wonderful Scotch aficionados who have been calling me all day:

Johnnie Walker Black
Highland Park
Trader Joes house brands, which one reader swears by. Say hello if you pass me and my cart full of bottles.

December 15, 2006
+44, plus more

Natomas is going MTV this weekend with a visit from +44. The punk band, which features ex-Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker, is playing the Boardwalk on Sunday (get the details at the club's Web site), but before the music starts, the band'll have a little meet-n-greet at the Natomas Tilly's store (3642 North Freeway Blvd.).

Tilly's, for the uninformed (read: me up until about five minutes ago), is an "action-branded" retail chain that caters to the kids, stocking shoes and accessories from the likes of Paul Frank, Roxy, Converse and Fly Girls. Think of it as a sort of Hot Topic for the surf- or- skate-enthused teen.

Anyhoo, back to the band: +44 will visit Tilly's from 1-3 p.m. on Sunday and fans will have a chance to win four tickets and a press pass to that night's show. Other prizes will include a +44 skate deck, an autographed CD and a Tilly's gift card.

Maybe you should head over and get in line now.

December 15, 2006
This one's a slam-dunk

The Sacramento Kings may be, to put it gently, stinkin' up the court these days, but sometimes, what they do off the hardwood is just as noteworthy. Maybe even more so.

'Tis the season for giving, and this year, Maloof Sports & Entertainment (the Kings' parent company, y'all) has teamed with Safeway for the fifth annual "Season of Giving" campaign.

What this means for an avid Kings fan such as myself is the chance to check out some of my favorite tall guys doing something other than the standard dunk, rebound or pass.

As part of the campaign, my not-so-secret-anymore crush, Brad Miller, took 25 kids from Big Brothers/Big Sisters shopping at Toys "R" Us on Wednesday. And on Sunday, you can check out my other secret crush, point guard Mike Bibby, as he treats 30 Serna Village kids to a holiday shopping spree, this time at Target.

Serna Village is a transitional housing project for the homeless and most of the kids who'll be hanging out with the Team Dime leader are in foster programs. (Bibby and the Maloofs will be in good financial company, with Wells Fargo making matching contributions.)

The shopping spree will run from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Target near Arco Arena (3601 North Freeway Blvd, to be exact).

Look for more Kings goodwill later in the week, with Ron Artest, Corliss Williamson, Kevin Martin and others donating time and presents to kids at Shriners, a Hmong women's association, Centers for Fathers & Families, and the Sacramento Children's Home.

Now if the Kings could only squeak a win past the Utah Jazz tonight, I might really believe there's a Santa Claus.

December 15, 2006
Need some serenity now?

BLOG_Pieces_LASER.jpgWell, who doesn't?

Simple Serenity Spa and Wellness Center has two locations for folks looking for a great place to unwind and have stuff done to them.

The locations are: 7784 Antelope Road and 7920 Alta Sunrise Drive, Suite 120 - both in Citrus Heights. The spa is by appointment only at (916) 962-3200 or (916) 759-0051.

Some of the goodies they're offering are a one-hour massage and facial for $109; two hours of bliss for $150; sculpting body wraps for $75, and a one-hour massage for $49.

Also, Simple Serenity is gearing up for a laser hair-removal package that will be done by an authorized nurse. The package is $2,999 - a $4,800 value! - and includes bikini area, underarms and legs. Owner Regina Doremus says she would be more than happy to answer your questions about this procedure.

December 14, 2006
Borge vs. Rohn: A PBS rhetorical smackdown

A FO21Q (that's Friend of 21Q, for the uninitiated) passes along this story about how his mother pledged funds to public TV station Channel 6 (KVIE) and got as a gift a DVD called "The Legendary Victor Borge."

(Youngsters may not know Borge, pictured at left, but he was a classical pianist from Denmark who morphed into a comedian. He was a big hit on the radio in the 1940s and TV in the '50s, and his "performances" are a staple of PBS pledge drives.)

Anyway, our friend's mom received the DVD in the mail and, on the cover, it read, "The Legendary Victor Borge - 75 min." But when she pressed play, on came "The Jim Rohn Weekend Leadership Event 2004."
(Youngsters may not know that Rohn, pictured at right, is a motivational speaker who dubs himself "America's Foremost Business Philosopher.")

Anyway, it turns out that KVIE was very apologetic and accommodating to our friend's mom. The station promised to send her the real Borge video post haste.

We at 21Q aren't sure how many KVIE contributors got the wrong DVDs. So, as a public service, we're going to give people some soundbites from Borge and Rohn - a rhetorical mash-up, as it were.

Rohn: "Welcome greatness. It lives all around you!"

Borge: "I'd like to thank my parents for making this night possible. And my children for making it necessary."

Rohn: "Put people up, not down!"

Borge: "The difference between a violin and a viola is that a viola burns longer."

Rohn: "Help others ... be winners!"

Borge: "It's your language, I'm just trying to use it... ."

Rohn: "Start an epidemic of enthusiasm!"

Borge: "When you go home, please drive home extremely carefully. Extremely carefully. Because I walk in my sleep!"

December 14, 2006
The doors are open

Aveda.JPGThe holiday season is always a particularly busy time for salons and spas.

All those appointments. All those open houses.

For example, Tangles Salon & Spa in Davis (630 Second St.) is having a holiday open house from 6 to 8 tonight; and, as if we didn't have enough to eat, the salon will be serving refreshments.

It's the business's one-year anniversary at the current location, so owner John Hausler is ready to celebrate. In the spirit of the season, Tangles - which is an Aveda concept salon - also will be offering discounts on Aveda products. Stock up for yourself, and for stocking stuffers.

For more information: (530) 759-0795.

December 14, 2006
Radio stunt ... for a cause


Do not be alarmed. Those two guys you see lurking outside the Washington Mutual bank at Arden and Exposition are harmless. In fact, they are only seeking your money for charity.

It's The Zone's (100.5 FM) radio host Keith Brooks (above) and his trusty producer Brian Estenson. The two, who started camping out in front of the bank this afternoon, are asking for donations for the station's "Tidings for Teachers" fund.

Brooks vows he'll be camping out in the cold, cold WaMu parking lot until he raises $10,000 for teachers to buy school supplies. He's known for extreme stunts. He once went on a prolonged hunger strike to get out of his contract at The Flash (92.1 FM).

It's nice to see him depriving himself for something besides himself.

December 14, 2006
Department of Redundancy Department


Here's something that has bothered your humble media critic for months: Whenever Channel 13 reports a breaking story, it just doesn't settle for the "LIVE" graphic. No, it has to add "RIGHT NOW," as well. As if we didn't know what constitutes live.

What's next, adding the phrase "AT THIS MOMENT" to make sure that viewers really know that the footage is not on tape?

December 13, 2006
Ends and odds

Allen Schmeltz will be leaving his five-year home at Garbeau’s Dinner Theatre at the end of the month. Schmeltz founded and was artistic director of Garbeau’s Acorn & Oak Theatre for children. He is forming Allen Schmeltz Productions and will work with Ed Claudio at his new Actor’s Theatre of Folsom. Schmeltz and Claudio also will produce with Mike Jimena and Connie Mockenhaupt at their Back Lot Theatre, opening in El Dorado Hills in late February 2007.

Schmeltz plans to continue teaching theater arts throughout the area.

Meanwhile, director Julie Anchor is still casting for her production of “Greater Tuna” for Main Street Theatre Works. The auditions will be at California Stage (25th and R streets) at 7 p.m. Thursday. The majority of rehearsals will be in Sacramento, and two men are needed - age is open - to play 20-something characters. The show is set to run Feb. 16 through March 24 (with a possible one-week extension) at The Playhouse dinner theater at Sutter Creek Days Inn. Main Street Theatre Works offers a gas stipend. For more info: Susan McCandless, MSTW artistic director, at (209) 295-4499.

December 13, 2006
Wedding wonders


Perfect Wedding guide.JPGWedding-industry folks are possibly the nicest business people to come in contact with. They're always smiling! (And they set a nice table, too, as shown above.)

Makes sense. They've got to keep it together when the bride turns into a nervous wreck.

I had the pleasure of speaking to a gathering of the Professional Wedding Guild
earlier today at the Memorial Auditorium. The event was sponsored by "The Perfect Wedding Guide," which is based in Sacramento and owned by Denny and Linda Walker. There were all sorts of wedding experts on hand, so, of course, I needed to come up with some topics that might be of interest to them.

I addressed the issue of mothers-of-the-brides/grooms and why they have so much trouble finding something stylish to wear. Matching some color version of the bridesmaids' dresses went out about 100 years ago.

I also found out something interesting: There are some salons/spas that will go to the bride and her entourage to do hair and makeup instead of having them come to the places of business.

And, get this: Some DJs have a dress code. I talked to Jared Newland of Sacramento Wedding DJs, and he says that, unless the bride specifies something different, he and his partner always wear a tux when entertaining at the reception.

"We did do a wedding in which the bride requested we wear Hawaiian shirts, so we did," Newland says.

They also make the rounds at tables to take requests so folks don't have to come to them. And they've even been known to order a cake when the "real" wedding cake didn't show up.

I also met everyone from the lady who does the chocolate fountains as an alternative to wedding cakes to the people who specialize in destination weddings.

But, one of the highlights of the event had to be getting chauffered to and fro by Larry from Luxury Limousines. I hadn't ridden in a limo in 20 years. It's definitely cool to see people looking at the tinted glass, wondering if it might be the governor (I know - he prefers another mode of transportation) seated inside or maybe even a fully clothed Britney Spears.

But it was just me and it was only a couple of blocks from The Bee.

The event happens every other month, and it certainly is a good networking opportunity if you're in the wedding industry. After all, there's always somebody getting hitched.

December 13, 2006
Sighting of 'Insight' on YouTube

All you fans of the KXJZ (90.9 FM) public affairs show "Insight" can get a behind-the-scenes view of the voices and people at Sac's NPR affiliate on the above YouTube video uploaded by the show's former intern Scott Lunt.

Check it out, if only to make those dedicated public-radio employees feel better about only 87 people viewing it (as of this posting) so far.

December 13, 2006
Phoenix traffic just got more interesting

Update on Julie Durda, the former News10 traffic diva (and former 49ers cheerleader), who was canned at KRON in San Francisco for an on-air outburst that may or may not have included the F-word:

Durda has landed on her feet as the traffic reporter at KPHO, the CBS affiliate in Phoenix.

December 13, 2006
The 12 days 'til Christmas blues

So Christmas is less than two weeks away and guess who's only bought, like, one present so far?

Yep. Me. Every year, it's the same ol' song and dance: Sometime around Halloween, I tell myself that I'm going to have all of my shopping done by the first of December.

And then, sometime around - oh, let's just say now - I realize that I've only crossed one name off my list. Compounding matters is the fact that I hate shopping malls with a fiery passion.


That said, retroCRUSH, one of my favorite local Web sites, has compiled a handy holiday shopping guide that'll keep you far, far away from the madding crowds. From nifty '80s tees to weird little action figures and statues, there's not a tie, pair of slippers or boring old scarf in the bunch.

December 13, 2006
Changes at News10


Sharon Ito's days of waking way, way early to anchor the morning news on News10 are almost over.

Come February - or sooner, depending on how quickly station bosses can hire a replacement - Ito will be leaving her "News10 Good Morning" gig and become a Web anchor on the station's site.

Stacy Owen, the station's news director, says Ito will not anchor Webcasts throughout the day, as Channel 3 has its anchors do. "What we don't want to do is just have somebody stand up and read headlines," Owen says. "People can read the headlines on their own online."

Instead, Owen says, Ito will be something of a Web host for users. She'll produce content, moderate chat room discussions, explain the station's reasons for airing certain stories.

"We want a different level of viewer and user engagement," Owen says. "Sharon really will be a one-person content developer and producer and get our users involved in the (editorial) process."

Ito, who couldn't immediately be reached for comment, asked for the new assignment, Owen says. Of course, News10's morning ratings have not exactly been sparkling. In the latest ratings period, it finished third behind Channel 3's "KCRA Reports" and Channel 31's "Good Day Sacramento."

"Sharon and I had been talking about this prior to the (ratings) book," Owen says. "She was looking to make a change in her life and she came up with a solution for us."

As for Ito's replacement, Owen half-jokingly says she's looking for somebody "who can keep (co-anchor) Dan Elliott in line."

Hmm. Good luck with that.

December 12, 2006
Some sweet news... .

gwenstefanicover.jpgThumbing through the booklet for the new Gwen Stefani CD, "The Sweet Escape," the other day and guess what slipped out?

Yep, a tiny insert card announcing the platinum blonde's 2007 tour.

And yep, it looks like Ms. Stefani will be bringing her new yodeling act to the Sleep Train Amphitheatre on April 18.

While I'm not really sold on Stefani's new Michelle Pfeiffer-in-"Scarface"-meets-"The Sound of Music" act...well, the idea of a live Gwen show is, nonetheless, still sweet.

Stay tuned.

December 11, 2006
'Jenny' has a friend

jenny_jacket.JPGThis fall, we had introduced shoppers to something called the "Jenny" skirt. At the time, Denise Masunaga, owner of the Madam Butterfly boutique in Pavilions, said the private-label skirt ($88) had become somewhat of an obsession at her store, mostly because of its flexibility. The layered skirt can be worn with a sweater or even extended into a dress and belted.

Now, Masunaga e-mails to say she's got the companion "Jenny" jacket (shown left), which is also $88. Actually, its formal name is the "Sgt. Pepper Jacket." Can't you see it on Paul or Ringo?

It's black velour with bronze buttons and a stand-up collar and comes in sizes small, medium and large. If you're looking for comfy-cozy, this is the jacket to hang in your closet.

Meanwhile, the trunk shows keep coming at Franco Ferrini, right around the corner from Madam Butterfly. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Tuesday, the store will host its Trollbeads trunk show. A representative from the company will be on hand to answer questions, so if someone on your gift list is into these gold and silver jewelry beads for necklaces, charms and bracelets, now's your chance to get them something special. And the store says it will have extra stock on hand for this two-day show.

December 8, 2006
Crawl aboard!

Y'all know I love to pub crawl, so you'll be particularly pleased to know that tonight marks yet another occasion for me to rove from bar to bar with my fellow adult-beverage enthusiasts. But lest you think me exclusive, I'm gonna let you in on the plan so that we lovers of light beer may increase our ranks and go on to rule the world.

The crawl, organized by the good folks at the East Sac Crazy Hat Pub Crawl Committee, is to start right about now, that is to say, at 7 p.m., at the Pine Cove and then moves north into east Sac. There aren't any specific times, but the list of bars are as follows: Limelight, the Raven, Bonn Lair, Club2Me and Chargin's. The rules - and there are rules, because we love nothing if not order - are that you have to wear a crazy holiday-themed hat and that you bring a new, unwrapped toy or kid's book to the kickoff at Pine Cove.

Me, I'll be a little late, but if you see me there, you should buy me a beer. Or if you see me anywhere, for that matter.

For more information, go to

December 8, 2006
The Mysterious Case of JC Chasez

So let's say you're a JC Chasez fan and you just happen to want to hear the former Mousketeer-turned-'N Sync member right here in the River City.

Well, I can't say much more than this, but the oh-so-handsome Mr. Chasez is rumored (with an emphasis on I'm not spilling any details) to be in Sactown on Saturday.

Oh yeah, and he's got a new album coming out in '07, which features a single "Until Yesterday" that was co-written and co-produced with my secret pop idol crush, Justin Timberlake.

Want more info? I suggest you skim your radio dial Saturday...Sorry I can't share more than that. But, it's more fun this way, right? Right.

December 8, 2006
New 'dog' in KXJZ kennel


This just in for all you public radio geeks:

John Florek, founding host of the popular Saturday night eclectic-music program "Blue Dog Jam" (7-10 p.m.) on KXJZ (90.9), is out. The permanent replacement as host will be Chris Oshiro (pictured, left), but KXJZ's jazz music director Gary Vercelli says staffers Dennis Newhall and Devin Yamanaka will serve as guest hosts in the next few weeks.

Florek, who also hosted "Acid Jazz" later on Saturday nights, is "no longer working at the station," says station manager Carl Watanabe. He declined to elaborate, and Florek was unavailable for comment. Vercelli will host "Acid Jazz" until a permanent replacement is hired.

"Blue Dog Jam," on the air since July 2005, dared to mix in alternative rock, blues, folk and country tunes into what normally was the station's all-jazz weekend programming. A typical set played by Florek might include the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Odetta, Sublime, Public Enemy and Dave Alvin.

Now that's eclectic. Maybe too much so for the taste of public radio fans. Watanabe would not address the future playlist of the show, but he did say: "People like to hear the words to songs they listen to." In other words, more singer-songwriters? That might not be a bad thing, since contemporary folk music gets exactly zero airplay in Sacramento.

But Vercelli says, "The music will be the constant, slanting in a more pop direction."

December 8, 2006
Another busy weekend

BLOG-BRACELET.jpg It's going to be another busy weekend, especially for shoppers looking for good deals and great gifts. Among other things, it's Second Saturday.

Here's a list of doings from Sac to Davis:

* Trunk show: Five Figs Couture (803 Second St.) in Davis is featuring antique jewelry by designer Bonnie Krupp during a show from 2 to 9:30 p.m. today. (One of her bracelets is shown above.) During the evening hours, there will be live cello music with musician Priscilla Hawkins. For more information: (530) 756-3500.

pandora1.JPG * More jewels: Over at Pavilions, Franco Ferrini will host a variety of trunk shows featuring some of the store's most popular brands. Things get started with a weekend show (today, Saturday and Sunday) loaded with Pandora jewelry. These are the bracelets and necklaces (shown right) that you add to - kind of like charms. For this show, purchases are tax free and customers will get a free silver bead of their choice with the purchase of one gold one.

Also today only at Franco, jewelry designer Linda Babcock of Good Karma ("Jewelry With a Past") will be on hand from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to show her collection, which specializes in taking your personal photographs and turning them into works of art, including necklaces and belt buckles - obviously all one-of-a-kind. For more information: (916) 927-3336.

* It's the Second: Fools Foundation in midtown will be the locale for Second Saturday's Sellout Buyout, from 3 to 10 p.m. The event will feature more than 20 "utilitarian" artists and indie designers and all their handmade goods. Olipom on 21st Street sponsors the event, and it's cold hard cash only. Fools Foundation is at 1025 19th St., in the basemen,t next door to the Old Spaghetti Factory. For more information: (916) 442-4470.

December 7, 2006
Seeing stars

Sacramento Bee/Brian Baer

OK, so Wednesday night, I hit up a red carpet event at the California Museum, where Arnold and Maria (above) were inducting the inaugural class into the California Hall of Fame. It was pretty fun to attend such a fete right here in Sac, because there is nothing so fun as seeing famous people in real life and then gossiping about them later. So. In the spirit of idle water cooler fodder, here I go.

Arnold and Maria, 'cause they count: Arnold, as always, was very tan. Maria, as always, was wearing a very cute outfit. This time, it was a black ensemble with the most adorable flared lace sleeves. If I had to wear a lady suit, which I have vowed never to do, it might look like that.

Clint Eastwood: Wow. He is exactly like you'd imagine - tall, old and handsome. But man, getting him to talk is like pulling teeth. He is indeed a man of few words.

Alice Walker: I know Clint was supposed to be the big draw and all - and if the red carpet groupies were any indication, he was - but I swear, I saw Alice Walker, whom I love, love, love, and I almost couldn't speak. She is just so dignified and obviously about 30 times smarter and more insightful than everyone else, I was blown away.

Sacramento Bee/Brian Baer

Billie Jean King (above): Love. Her. What a sweet pea. Even after all her accomplisments and fame, she's still delighted and a delight. I want to go over to her house and have her feed me a casserole or something.

Frank O. Gehry: Love him, too. Of all the inductees, he gave the funniest speech by jokingly plugging one of his buildings, as if the most-celebrated architect of our time needs the publicity.

Ron Reagan
: Should follow in his father's footsteps and be a politician, if only for his marvelous speaking voice.

December 7, 2006
'G' Rated and 'R' Rated

Here are a couple late entries into the holiday theater derby - one “G” rated for the entire family and the other “R” rated for adults.

The first is “A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas,” which is playing at Cosumnes River College. The production is directed by Cheri Fortin, the new artistic director of Next Stage: Theatre for Young Audiences. (Next Stage will produce family-oriented theater at CRC’s newly named Black Box Theatre, which is actually River Stage with a new name. Don’t worry - River Stage isn’t going anywhere, the theater space has just been renamed to avoid confusion, though it briefly added to mine.)

“A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas” performs at 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday and 2 p.m. Saturday; the last shows are this weekend. Tickets are $8 and $10. For more information: (916) 691-7364.

Meanwhile, over at the Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre, “Scandal erupts at the North Pole when one of Santa’s eight tiny reindeer accuses him of sexual harassment” in "The Eight: Reindeer Monologues." At least, so say the producers of the show, who also say this is “NOT a child appropriate” production, which just may make it appropriate for you.

Show times are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 23 at the little theater on the corner of 19th and P streets. Reservations are required: (916) 444-8209. Tickets are $24 and include dessert, coffee or tea. There's more information at

December 7, 2006
Demand for 'Denim'

Get ready, Granite Bay shoppers: Dara Denim is heading up I-80.

That's right. The popular midtown boutique, which opened in October 2003 at 2404 K St., is having growing pains. Owner Jessica Horton says the new store is well on its way to being completed. (Of course, I'll get the word out for the official grand opening.)

The new Dara Denim will be at the Quarry Pond Town Center, 5530 Douglas Blvd. "The customers in Granite Bay are really excited, as am I," Horton says. "And the location is great. All the businesses going in will be local, including a culinary market."

Until the new place opens, the midtown location is hopping with all sorts of great gift ideas. And, of course, Dara Denim is known for its, well, denim. (In fact, there's something called the Denim Club, which customers can join and earn a $100 gift card.) Plus, the labels are all the rage among celebs, including People's Liberation, J Brand and William Rast.

Just ask Paris and Britney.

December 7, 2006
Screensaver follies


What is it about Channel 31's "Good Day Sacramento" and its odd penchant for taking shots at rival stations?

The "talent" never misses a chance to make fun of Channel 3 anchor Walt Gray's hair, for instance.

And this morning, during a segment in the newsroom, they took a subtle but noticable dig at News10's Dale Schornack (left).

The "GDS" camera lingered at Mark S. Allen's desk, specifically showing his computer monitor, which featured these words scrolling on his screensaver: "God's gift to broadcasting sits here ... but Mark sits here until Dale Schornack comes back."

December 6, 2006
New radio boss

Capital Public Radio, which launched a nationwide search this summer for a new president and general manager, ultimately didn't have to look far.

The station’s board of directors announced today that Rick Eytcheson, best known locally for running Sacramento’s news-talk giant KFBK (1530 AM) from 1985 to 1997, will assume the reins beginning next week.
CPR, which includes news and jazz station KXJZ (90.9 FM) and classical station KXPR (88.9 FM), has been without a general manager since Michael Lazar resigned in June. Baltimore radio consultant Tom Livingston, who served as interim GM and led the search committee, says Eytcheson's commitment to news and to Sacramento swayed the board.

“He was leading KFBK when it clearly was the leading local news organ on the radio,” Livingston says in a phone interview today with The Bee. “Commercial radio has sort of dropped the ball on news, and public radio is trying to move into that gap. What he brings is knowledge about how to do it.”
Eytcheson has more than 30 years of experience in radio. He ran KFBK (as well as sister stations KGBY-Y92.5 FM, KHYL-V101.1 FM and KSTE-650 AM) when it was owned by Chancellor Media Corp. Those stations now are part of the Clear Channel chain.

Livingston downplays fears that some diehard public radio fans might have about Eytcheson's background. Just because KFBK is a commercial station - which launched the careers of Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing pundits - it doesn't mean Capital Public Radio will stray from its nonprofit, nonpartisan mission, Livingston says.

Eytcheson, who since departing KFBK has worked as a syndicator of radio shows, was unavailable today for comment.

"The search committee felt strongly that Rick has the right set of values," Livingston says. "Any time somebody new comes in, that’s the challenge.

"He has a few things to learn about public radio, but he certainly is an expert on radio in general. One of the things he’s known for is being research-oriented and knowing the audience."

Thomas Atkins, chair of CPR's board, says in a prepared statement that Eytcheson is a "strategic thinker" who knows Sacramento. "He is a member of the fabric of our community, having served on many local boards and public agencies," Atkins says.

December 6, 2006
Brief about boxers

Hey, I don't mean to be treading on Bee Fashion Writer Leigh Grogan's beat, but I've got to tell you about the featured item in Capital Public Radio's Holiday Fund Drive, which, thankfully, is just being played out on the CPR Web site.

For the man who has everything, why not give him a $150 pair of boxer shorts? Yup, if you pledge $150 or more to Capital Public Radio, the station will send you flannel tartan skivvies with this logo stitched in: "90.9 KXJZ News Briefs."

Oh, sure, there are other gifts at different price levels. But nothing says the holidays like public radio underwear.

December 5, 2006
The secret's out

TS-AZGIFTS 3 ABA.JPG I don't know why I'm eager to alert the TV-viewing masses (read: mothers), but the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is hitting the catwalk at 9 tonight on Channel 13.

What's the big whoop? Well, interestingly enough, a few years ago, I remember overhearing another mom at my son's soccer game lament that she caught her older son watching the "fashion show," which was definitely not showcasing sweats and sneakers, and told him to turn it off. She thought it was a bit too risque for a teen.

Fast forward to 2006, and we moms - and dads - know there's a lot worse stuff out there than Gisele Bundchen prancing around in a fur-trimmed bra and panties.

Anyway, one thing to keep in mind: Because KOVR, the local CBS affiliate, has an early prime time, that's why the show is on at 9 in Sacramento rather than at 10 p.m., which it will be for most of the country.

Don't fret, though, because it's not just girls, girls, girls. Justin Timberlake also is performing on what is being dubbed the "sexiest night on television."

For those who can't wait: Through the magic of the Internet, the Victoria's Secret Web site, has a sneak-peek video so you can see what they're doing with lace this year.


On a more decorative note, Ricky Lauren, wife of American fashion designer Ralph Lauren, will join Martha Stewart (shown right/photo courtesy of Anders Krusberg/MSLO) on her show at 9 a.m. Wednesday, also on Channel 13.

This will be the first-ever television appearance for Ricky, and the plan is for her to chat about the birth of the Lauren clothing line and then share dining/decor tips from her new book, "Cuisine, Lifestyle & Legend of the Double RL Ranch."

Just imagine: A husband who fills his wife's wardrobe with fabulous clothes - every day! And she still finds time to whip up a meal.

December 5, 2006
Your holiday shopping is DONE ...

And your bank account will be, too, if you follow my shopping advice and bid on this 1966 Velvet Underground & Nico Acetate LP.

What? The $124,000-plus just kills your holiday budget? Well, consider this: According to the folks over at Saturn Vinyl, the Oakland-based record store behind this eBay auction, this is 12 inches of one-of-a-kind vinyl. You thought Velvet Underground & Nico was the legendary New York band's first album? Think again - this LP is actually the real deal.

An article in this month's Goldmine magazine and posted on the eBay auction page explains how the phenomenon first came into play:

In September of 2002 Warren Hill of Montreal Canada was perusing a box of records at a Chelsea, New York, street sale when he happened upon a nice Leadbelly 10" on Folkways, a water damaged copy of the first Modern Lovers LP on Beserkely, and a brittle 12" piece of acetone-covered aluminum with the words "Velvet Underground. 4-25-66. Att N. Dolph" written on the label. He purchased the three records for 75 cents each.

As the article goes on, this acetate pressing, recorded in a studio with "ghost producer" Norman Dolph and VU pal Andy Warhol, represents the band's first album "as Andy Warhol intended it to be released."

In other words, the current going auction rate of $124,740.50 is a real steal.

December 5, 2006
Ken Burns' 'people' hit Sac

The buzz about filmmaker Ken Burns' documentary about World War II already is starting, even though it is not scheduled to air on PBS until next fall.

For those who haven't heard: Among the cities that Burns has chosen to profile in the historical piece is, yes, Sacramento. A producer for the show has interviewed former (1982-83) Sacramento Mayor Burnett Miller, 83. Miller, who participated in the Battle of the Bulge, tells us that he'll be featured in three of the seven documentary segments.
"They spent a couple of days here and a very sweet girl (producer) did the interviews," says Miller (pictured). "She was terrific. She could get anything out of anybody. (They asked about) some of my experiences in Europe during the war and what life was like in Sacramento before the war and how it changed somewhat when I returned."

So, how did Sacramento change?

"Before the war, about the further south Sacramento went was William Land Park," Miller says. "Everything on the other side was farms. Natomas was all farms and the downtown was extremely lively. Streetcars ran every place. It was quite different.

During the war, "the military presence here was huge," Miller says. "I’d come home and feel like I was in a military camp downtown."

We'll check back with Miller closer to the documentary's run date.

December 5, 2006
Allen's on-air apology

"Good Day Sacramento" funny man Mark S. Allen turned serious this morning when he apologized to viewers on the show for his DUI conviction detailed in a 21Q posting on Monday.

Allen was contrite during the nearly 10-minute segment, which included an interview with representatives of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and a demonstration of portion sizes of alcoholic beverages with California Highway Patrol spokeswoman, Officer Liz Dutton.

"I'm here today to tell you that you could be next," Allen said. "I wasn't driving erratically. I hadn't been stumbling. I wasn't slurring. I'm so sorry this has happened. I'm ashamed. I'm embarrassed...I vow to you this is never going to happen again."

Then, Allen walked to the station parking lot and interviewed the MADD and CHP representatives. He hugged the two women from MADD, then shook hands with Dutton. Dutton laughed and said, "No hug for me?"

Channel 31 has posted the complete package on its Web site. View it here.

December 4, 2006
Mark S. Allen pleads guilty to DUI

mark s allen

“Good Day Sacramento” anchor Mark S. Allen has pleaded guilty in Sacramento County Superior Court to a single count of misdemeanor driving under the influence.

Allen, whose real name is Mark A. Stell, was sentenced to three year’s probation and 48 hours of community service in the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department Work Project. According to the Sheriff’s Web site, inmates on work crews “are assigned to one of more than 25 work sites throughout the county.” He also must enroll in a three- to six-month “First Offender” treatment program as part of his sentence, according to court documents.

In late August, Allen was pulled over at Sacramento International Airport by sheriff’s deputies. According to court documents, his blood alcohol level registered at .11 (above the .08 legal limit in California) and he was taken into custody.

Allen has remained on the air at “Good Day Sacramento” since his arrest and conviction. Asked if the station would discipline Allen, Channel 31 vice president for news Steve Charlier declined to comment, saying it is a personnel matter.

In a phone interview today with The Bee, Allen called the incident "an embarrassing situation." He explained that he had been having dinner with friends and was returning someone to the airport when he was stopped.

"I had had a couple of drinks at dinner (and) a drink prior to dinner, thought I was within the (threshold)," he says. "At no point did I think I was drunk...Having been around DUI education for the past 30 years, I really thought I was OK. So this is absolutely embarrassing."

December 4, 2006
Kari to QVC


My purse pal Kari Alexander is really in the big leagues now. First, she was a local broadcaster ("Good Day Sacramento"), then she became a fashion designer, then she married some famous Hollywood movie exec. And if all that weren't enough, now she's got her line of trademark "karibags" on QVC!

It really doesn't get any better than that.

I met Kari back in 2004 when she still lived in Sac and had launched her cute line of unique bags. For those of you who aren't familiar with karibags, they're purses incorporated onto a belt or sash and worn around the waist.

Kari took the bags to some of the awards shows in L.A. and got rave reviews. Now celebs such as Kelly Clarkson, Molly Sims and Eva Mendes are wrapped up in Kari, so to speak.

I admit I'm a huge QVC fan. I love the stuff, and Kari is in good company. I found out she's also got a store in Naples, Fla., and is hoping to open something in New York. She also did a trunk show this fall with Neiman Marcus in Los Angeles.

Kari appeared last Friday on the show. At today is her cute printed sash-style belt, which comes in three colors and sells for $29.33.

You go, girl!

December 1, 2006
One busy and fashionable weekend

Like you don't already have a thousand things to do this weekend, but when beauty and fashion call ... we jump!

Here are some events you might want to check out. And, wouldn't it be cool if you got some yule shopping done at the same time?

* Strands Salon and Spa (3271 Folsom Blvd.): The salon is hosting a "Wish Upon Aveda" holiday open house from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. And, to make things even more exciting, the salon is offering a double-points day for anyone with a "pure privilege" card. For more information: (916) 451-4949.

* Fashion boutique: Elk Grove is the address for an event called Fabulous Fashion Boutique. It's from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at 3572 Pacifica Lane. The event will feature six fashion lines, plus accessories such as handbags and jewelry. The lines include: Weekenders, Destinations, TravelWear by Jacqueline, Multiples USA and Colesce Couture. And there's Cookie Lee Jewelry and A Sow's Ear Mobile Boutique. If you RSVP to Valerie Largin at (916) 247-0313 - and bring friends - you'll earn savings coupons.

* Wellness party: Simple Serenity Spa is hosting its Holiday Wellness Party from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 7920 Alta Sunrise Drive in Citrus Heights. There will be free massages, discounts on spa products, gift bags, gym passes and eyelash-extension demos. For more information: (916) 962-3200.

* Trunk show: The Wardrobe in Davis (206 E St.) will host a trunk show from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday featuring the Sorrelli jewelry collection, including earrings, necklaces and bracelets. For more information: (530) 756-1128.

* Fashion show: The Pence Art Gallery and Five Figs boutique are partnering for a holiday fashion show and tea from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday at the gallery, 212 D St., also in Davis. It will be an afternoon of tea, cake, art and, of course, holiday couture. The event is free to gallery members, $10 for non-members. Reservations are required at (530) 758-3370.

December 1, 2006
Find your True Love

Sacramento Bee/Kevin German

I was reintroduced to the joys of the board game on Thanksgiving. It had been far too long since I'd sat down for a competitive parlor-game session, and I must say, I enjoyed it immensely. Oddly, since then, I've come across no fewer than five gaming opportunities, and most of them have taken place at my new favorite caffeine establishment, the True Love Coffeehouse.

Re-opened after a two-year hiatus, True Love is that perfect little home away from home where you could conceivably drop in with three dollars and stay for three hours. And speaking of "three," that's all I could manage to connect as I engaged in a mean round of Connect Four, which I repeatedly lost.

Check out my review of True Love in today's Weekend Ticket. Though, of course, if you're reading this, you already know the punch line.

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