Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

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

August 31, 2007
Stay cool on Saturday night at the Townhouse

anangle.JPG So, I think I'm doing a possibly stupid thing Saturday night - going to the State Fair on what may turn out to be the hottest, muggiest night of the year.

I mean, I love the baby animals, the photo booths and all the people-watching but factor in the dust and the fact that, well, people-watching means crowds and, well, you'll see why I'm recommending you head on down to the Townhouse (1517 21st St.) instead.

Why? Because in addition to the free a.c., there's going to be a totally rocking show with An Angle, E for Explosion and Chase Pagon.

Oh, and there'll be deejays too. Look for the likes of DJs Trent, Jonny, Andrew and Josh - upstairs and downstairs. That's one of the cool things about the Townhouse -it's got that midtown house party vibe.

And did I mention the free air conditioning? OK, it's not really free - the entire show will set you back $5 (plus drink money, if you're so inclined.). Sorry, kids, 21-and-over only.

August 31, 2007
Old/New Media disconnect strikes again

Here's an interesting post by Zach Melchiori, one of the Web gurus at Channel 13. (It's from Zach's personal blog, as opposed to his Channel 13 tech blog.)

Anyway, he talks about a recent incident in which Channel 13 found out about a breaking story at 1 p.m. but didn't post it on its Web site. Rather, it waited until 5 p.m., hoping for a scoop. In the meantime, The Bee posted the story on the Web, beating 13 to the punch.

Melchiori makes some solid points about how, in this 24-hour news cycle, stations risk getting beat on a story by holding them to the TV broadcast.

August 31, 2007
Fox40 gets fortuitous scoop


On Thursday night's Channel 13 news, reporter Serene Branson filed a report a plane crash at a Cameron Park airport, saying that a witness, Walter Helm, "was first on the scene."

Uh, not quite.

Truly first on the scene was Fox40 reporter Lonnie Wong and photographer Albert Im, who just happened to be shooting B-roll (background footage) for a story about an earlier light plane crash at the airport when they filmed the fateful takeoff of the plane that killed two passengers and critical injured another two.

(Above is a screen grab from Fox40's footage seconds before the plane crashed.) To see Fox40's report, click here.

Fox40, naturally, realized its good fortune and led its newscast with the report, showing the takeoff and crash several times. It also had shots of EMT's trying to revive a passenger and other shots fresh on the scene that you usually don't see on local TV news.

The length of the report -- 3 minutes 45 seconds -- seemed a tad excessive. But, hey, Fox40 had the exclusive video.

As Woody Allen once said, 90 percent of life is just showing up.

August 31, 2007
News flash! It's still hot


On this coming Labor Day weekend, let's pause a moment to pay tribute to local TV news reporters who've been subjected to inhumane conditions by being sent out all day on weather stories that basically say this and only this: "Gee, it sure is hot out."

Poor Leticia Ordaz (pictured) at Channel 3 was sent to Modesto on Wednesday night and West Sacramento last night to talk to people who basically all confirmed that, hey, it's hot. She finally lost it on Thursday night's late news, spraying the camera with a mist bottle.

Ordaz did find one yahoo interesting person, a Modesto dude with no AC in his home who spent the night in his car with the engine running(!). The guy's quote: "It's hard with the price of gas, but you've got to stay cool some way."

The most ironic report came Thursday night when News10 sent Cornell Barnard to Lathrop, where there had been a 15-hour power outage. Barnard, in a live stand-up, intoned: "Yeah, Dale, this neighborhood is finally cooling off tonight. Power restored just a short ti--"

Then the screen went to black for three seconds, before News10 switched to Barnard's prerecorded package. The signal was restored by the end of the report, after which anchor Dale Schornack quipped: "And that was a pretty effective demonstration of what a rolling blackout looks like, in case any of us forgot. Thanks."

August 31, 2007
Tennis anyone - anyone!

Associated Press

I'm not in New York, but I get the impression tennis fans are going to the U.S. Open and a fashion show breaks out on center court - pretty much every day since the tourney started earlier this week.

I know the Open is held in New York, fashion capital of the universe, but I'm not sure it's the best venue for breaking out with outrageous attire. And I'm not even talking about the attendees. The players - especially some of the women - are double-faulting big time.

For example, Bethanie Mattek of the United States (pictured), ranked 123rd, isn't high up enough in the tennis food chain to be sporting this silly gold metallic dress and matching samurai headband. And yikes, what a fashion don't she is with her visible black bra!

According to the Associated Press, it's not the first time Bethanie barked up the wrong side of the court when it comes to her attire. The AP says she was fined for wearing an argyle cowboy hat at the 2005 Open and showed up at last year’s tournament wearing a loosely draped beige top that resembled a toga.

Russia's Maria Sharapova had the good fashion sense to collaborate with Nike for her Tuesday night debut. She held center court's attention in a fiery red flared dress with hand-sewn crystals.

Our own Venus Williams looked sassy in a short, pleated green shirt and matching top. Kudos! Her sister, Serena, however opened competition in an empire-waist black dress with a pink bow, the Nike "Swoosh" visible. Paired with her trademark big gold jewelry the babydoll dress looked out of whack.

Now, I'm sure there are those tennis lovers who could care less about the outfits. But, if you consider the staunch rules about white at Wimbledon and the red dust flying and coating everyone at the French Open, our U.S. Open is wide open when it comes to courtly fashion.

But, with college football season in full swing Saturday, I probably won't give a hoot about haute couture. It's all about the pads and the punts!

August 30, 2007
That's gotta hurt!


No, that's not anchor Dale Schornack hitting meteorologist Greg Lalka below the belt at the weather map during a recent News10 broadcast.

Let us explain.

See, News10 has this cute feature out at the California State Fair, in which the public can pretend to be a weather forecaster and get a photo taken in front of the map. The station has posted thousands of photos on its Web site, certainly none more humorous than this.

Maybe these kids were recreating a scene from "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy."

August 30, 2007
Meyer's Picks

Each week in Friday's Weekend Ticket, I review new movies and also list recommendations for films that already have been released . Now, you can find this feature each Thursday afternoon here at 21Q.

Here are my recommendations:

Becoming Jane
3 stars
This engaging film positions Jane Austen (Anne Hathaway) as the heroine of a very Austen-like story. Hathaway radiates intelligence as Austen, and James McAvoy lends roguish charm to the Irishman who romances her.
Rated PG

3 1/2 stars
John Travolta never disappears into the role of Edna, mother to dance-crazy teen Tracy (Nikki Blonsky). Quite the contrary. He draws more attention than cotillard.jpg
he should to his performance by stretching his o’s in a Southern-style accent and adopting a would-be coy demeanor that seems more Teamster than debutante. Yet his performance, though always a curio, is completely ingratiating, because Travolta emanates such delight at being able to put on a show.
Rated PG

La Vie en Rose
2 1/2 stars
Starting Friday, Davis’ Varsity Theatre will offer another chance to catch Marion Cotillard’s (pictured, at right) spectacular turn as Edith Piaf. The film’s all over the place, but Cotillard fully embodies the late, ill-starred and supremely talented French singer.
Rated PG-13

Now let's hear what you think. Just click on the comments button below.

August 29, 2007
Capital Public Radio expands news department


That new voice you hear on public radio station KXJZ (90.9 FM) is reporter Ben Adler. He comes to Sacramento from Monterey's NPR affiliate, KAZU, where he was the news director.

The addition of Adler increases Capital Public Radio's newsroom to seven.

August 29, 2007
Humor Times to be 'free' no more


The Sacramento Humor Times, for 16 years a free monthly publication providing editorial cartoons and funny essays, soon will drop the "free" part.

Blame it on the lack of advertising -- a situation that's hitting all aspects of print media. Says publisher James Israel in a statement: "The free paper has not been generating the advertising support it used to."

Israel says he'll print four more free isues, then start the subscription model. Cost: 12 issues, $17.95 -- $12.95 if you subscribe by Sept. 30.

In March the circulation was 35,000. It'll be interesting to see how many devoted Humor Times readers (we see 'em in cafes around town all the time) will want to pay for it.

August 29, 2007
Hot for fall fashions


I know, I know - it's blazing hot outside. And the last things on our minds are sweaters and long pants!

But fall fashion previews are happening all around town. You can't escape it - unless you just don't feel like shopping. And that's a no-no!

Just for fun, why not check out Madam Butterfly's second annual fall fashion preview? The Pavilions boutique, which recently updated its interior space, is hosting the event from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday. And, because it will be toasty, they'll be serving refreshments and passing out prizes.

A highlight of the event will be the opportunity to win a $500 shopping spree or a Love Heals necklace (pictured).

Love Heals bohemian jewelry is a mother-son team of Adriana Goddard and Gunnar Lovelace.. Their artwork comes out of Ojai.

Can't make it to the store? Then visit the stores's Web site.

August 29, 2007
Put yourself on the market with IndieSacramento

As a big fan of the quarterly Sellout / Buyout shopping bazaar, I'm happy to see there'll soon be another local craft / vendor market in town.

IndieSacramento will host its first indie / alternative craft fair on Dec. 1 from 2-9 p.m.

The free event will be held at the YWCA at 17th and L streets and will feature free swag bags, door prizes, a fashion show music, free craft sessions for the kids, do-it-yourself classes and, of course, tons of locally crafted goods to satisfy

Just in time for the holidays - but why am I telling you now when December feels like it might as well be three years away, not three months.

Simple, the IndieSacramento folks need you - the industrious, creative crafter that you are. Or maybe you're part of a business or band that wants to participate?

Mosey on over to to find out more.

August 29, 2007
Slate mag and Channel 13: Great minds think alike

Channel 13 wasn't the only news organization to film a recreation of Sen. Larry Craig's bathroom encounter. (See blog post just below.)

Slate magazine took it a step further and actually went into a restroom and used cheesy black-and-white noir style.

Uh, enjoy.

August 29, 2007
'Daily Show' or local TV news: Part 12


That wacky Chris Burrous, host of Channel 13's morning show, and weather guesser Jeff James, recreated the alleged lewd conduct of Idaho Sen. Larry Craig in a Minneapolis airport restroom stall.

Wow. For once, we were left speechless at this episode of playing footsie between anchors. Though Leigh Grogan, The Bee's fashion writer, took James to task for wearing sandals with a suit.

Check out the video here.

August 28, 2007
Resurrecting a co-worker

"Resurrecting the Champ" might devote most of its run time to the relationship between a reporter (Josh Hartnett) and the homeless former boxer (Samuel L. Jackson) he wants to profile, but at least one local moviegoer was keeping a close eye on a subplot.

Sheila Kern, assistant director of editorial research at The Bee, worked with reporter J.R. Moehringer for the Los Angeles Times' Orange County edition in the 1990s and helped Moehringer research his story on the man who called himself Champ. When Kern heard from Moehringer that former model Rachel Nichols would play her counterpart in the movie, Kern wasn't surprised.

"It seems like everyone in Hollywood is model-like -- a young, glamorous actress," Kern says. When she saw the film last week, Kern observed that Nichols buttoned up quite nicely.

"She was smart, efficient and she had a quick wit," Kern assessed. "But (the character) was highly fictionalized. She took the liberty of setting up an interview appointment for the reporter to talk to the source, and I would never in a million years do that."

Kern assures that few events in the newsroom played out quite like they do on screen. For instance, Moehringer never said to her, "I could kiss you."

"As I tell all my friends who are going to see the movie -- if you have to ask me if something really happened, the answer is, categorically, no," she says with a smile.

August 28, 2007
Stop the madness


Well, it must be August -- notoriously the slowest news month of the year.

Why else would both News10 and Fox40 send reporters and photographers out to Lodi to cover the story about the woman who claims the face of Jesus has appeared on her backyard fence?

Here's News10's version.

How many times do we have to see these stories of the Savior appearing on grilled cheese sandwiches, weeping blood from a statue, etc. I have great respect for one's faith, but is it news? Think not. It's more of a Rorschach test.

Then again, what do I know? As of this afternoon, it ranked No. 1 on News10's Web site's most viewed story.

August 28, 2007
Cheesecake shot


But we mean that in the best sense. Really.

Last night, Fox40 devoted almost three minutes of its 10 o'clock news to the state election reform proposal that would no longer give all the state's Presidential delegates to the popular vote winner. Instead, if the Republicans would win, say, 20 percent of the districts, it would siphon 20 delegates from the Democrats.

It's a political story with huge implications.

It's also a story that local TV news usually avoids because of the so-called Snooze Factor. Meaning, no good video, no sexy story.

But we have to give a tip of the hat to Fox40 reporter Kye Martin for using a visual aide -- a cheesecake divided into slices -- to jazz up a "process" story. We'll even forgive Kye's trite declaration: "Meaning they can have their cheesecake and eat it, too."

We'd like to see more political reporting on local TV news. So, too, do politicos. Obviously, what's needed is more cheesecake shots.

Here's hoping Martin's boss let her put the cheesecake on her expense account.

August 28, 2007
School's in! High School Musical 2 talent show at the Hard Rock tonight

hsm.JPG Don't let Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens have all the fun and get all the acclaim. Here's your chance to prove you've got "High School Musical"-worthy talent.

Tonight the Hard Rock Cafe (545 Downtown Plaza) hosts a High School Musical 2 Time for Talent competition, open to area high school age students.

The requirement: Just sing and /or dance along to your favorite "High School Musical 2" song.

Grand prize is a copy of the "High School Musical 2" soundtrack, tickets to the upcoming High School Musical: The Ice Tour (skating into Arco Arena, Nov. 2 and Nov. 4), a Radio Disney prize pack and an entry into a national drawing for a trip to New York.

The event starts at 6 tonight; attendance is free and all-ages - so come on down whether you've got a musical number up your sleeve or are just a fan of the wildly popular Disney franchise,

August 28, 2007
San Francisco Fashion Week + Sacramento designers

Photography/Tom Huynh

I attended the final night of San Francisco Fashion Week Saturday and managed to catch two local designers' shows - Richard Hallmarq and Cindy Vo. (To see a video from Richard's runway show, go here.

Cindy, who recently moved to the Bay Area from Sacramento, has been showing around these parts since the creation of her Vindyco Clothing line in 2004.

This was her first foray down the runway at the San Francisco Design Center Galleria, and lots of her friends and family were on hand to cheer her efforts, which were in true Cindy Vo fashion: flirty, fearless and, dare I say, daring!

fashion-2.jpgCindy's strength is her dresses (pictured above, the finale dress with the designer and right).

For this collection, sponsored by Peachy B. Designs, she opted for multi-colored leggings and fancy tights with some of the dresses, which featured details such as ruching, lots of lace, even crochet.

Her white strapless ruffled dress was set off with a fuchsia bow. And then there were fanciful touches of tulle in both black and white.

Cindy looked adorable taking her bows - in a Vindyco creation no doubt. And, even though she's no longer living in Sactown, I wish her the best in her fashion endeavors. Don't forget us!

To see more images from Cindy's show, LookSpark has it covered. Just click here.

August 27, 2007
Can't this man be stopped?


The man, of course, is conservative pundit Mark Williams (ex-KFBK talker who's gone national as a free-lance cable TV mouth).

This liberal blogger at is trying his best to accomplish that.

I especially liked the guy's nickname for Williams -- Wingnut.

August 27, 2007
DJ changes at The Zone

shawn cash.gif

It was a little more than a year ago that venerable morning radio team Shawn and Jeff were ousted at The Zone (KZZO, 100.5 FM).

Starting next week, though, half of the team will be on the morning drive-time shift. Shawn Cash (who had been the station's afternoon DJ since his demotion) will join Hill Jordan as The Zone's new morning team. (Cash's former partner, Jeff Jensen, has gotten out of the crazy radio biz and now works in advertising.)

Monica Lowe, who had been handling the morning shift solo for the past several months, started on middays (10 a.m.-3 p.m.). That means that Lowe will be competing directly against her hubby, Pat Martin, the midday jock at 98 Rock (98.5 FM). Then again, it's not really competing since the formats are way different.

Keith Brooks will be The Zone's afternoon drive-time personality and a new hire will soon take over evenings at the station, according to Sacramento CBS Radio honcho Steve Cottingim.

Update: Jensen has kept his hand in on radio by recently getting a weekend gig at the country station The Wolf (KNTY 101.9 FM).

August 27, 2007
Is it a 'Great Day' or just a 'Good Day'?


Just back from a restive vacation, where I was able to catch the local TV news in that exotic locale known as ... Fresno!

I return with a far greater appreciation for the quality of newscasts in Sacramento. After all, I have survived watching KMPH's morning show, "Great Day Fresno."

Yes, we may be subjected to "Good Day Sacramento," but in Fresno it's always a "great" day -- apparently. "Great Day" anchors Kopi and Kim make Mark S. Allen look like a PBS correspondent. I love how Kopi does the weather while pointing to the map with his smiley face coffee cup.

I went on "Great Day's" Web site and watched penetrating stories such as "Cake or Pie: Which Is Better?"

It felt so nice to return to Sac on Saturday and tune in to "Good Day Sacramento" and watch serious and sober journalistic endeavors, such as "GDS" reporter Alan Sanchez receiving an enema from a viewer. Go to "Good Day's" Web site to view, if you dare. (Thankfully, it's not explicit.)

August 27, 2007
'Mantra' magic

Photography: Paul Pardue/Colnie Garcia

There were plenty of smiles and tears - and teetering heels - to go around Friday night at the first "Mantra: What Do You Live For?" fashion show at the Red Lion ballroom.

Three local designers - Jamaica Cole, Mercedes Ben and Casey Sue Douglass - presented their spring 2008 collections to an audience of about 200 fashion fans, including proud family and friends! 6.jpgAll the ticket proceeds went to Sacramento-based WEAVE.

The show started with Jamaica's New Orleans-inspired collection titled Vieux Carre (pictured right), which featured short, fitted jackets, lots of dress details such as diamond-shaped cutouts in the back and a rainbow of colors and prints. Jamaica is quite adept at working ruching and pleats into her designs and lots of added extras, particularly lace inserts.

Music for her show was from Tom Waits. At the end, Jamaica thanked her Dad for introducing the musician's work to her. "I wouldn't have known who he was," Jamaica said.

12.jpgMercedes' collection, titled Babes 'N' Toyland (pictured left), was very, very pretty. Her version of a purple bubble skirt was transformed, actually less bubble.

I liked her mixing of sweet colors: pink with blue, pink with purple, yellow with pink. Her jeweled blue bolero top was cute. But Mercedes also can get with it when she wants to go elegant in black. My favorite? Her black and white polka-dot dress with a pink bow and ruffle.

The finale, Casey Sue's Swank Hipster collection, brought two thoughts to mind:
* Actress Julie Christie in the 1975 movie "Shampoo"
* What the French Riviera must have looked like when Grace Kelly was holding court

Both the hair (beehives and long bobs) and the clothing (one-piece short sets and flirty skirts) with oversized sunglasses and heels were reminiscent of the Cote D'Azur, and I've never even been there!

Strategically placed zippers and unusual strips of fabric are signature tricks for Casey Sue. The floral prints and plaids easily might show up on the streets of Paris, too.

Taking her bows, Casey Sue closed by saying, "This was the hardest experience I've ever had, but the most rewarding."

Let's hope the threesome return - maybe even next spring - with a fall 2008 show. It gives me an excuse to get out and look at fun local fashion!

August 24, 2007
Shoe madness!

Marshalls.jpgShoes, shoes and more shoes!

That's what you'll find if you check out any of the new Shoe MegaShops at several area Marshalls stores. How big are the spaces? Try 5,000 square feet of shoes - for your feet. It's basically a store within a store.

Of course, we're talking shoes for men, women and kids. Designer labels abound, at up to 60 percent less than you normally might pay!

And it's an open sale deal: You shop by style rather than size by finding that 7 below the display shoe.

Already, seasonal trends are afoot, including ballet flats (pictured), mary janes with dainty buckles on high heels and geometric patterns in black and white and houndstooth.

So where can you shop? Here are the new Marshalls Shoe Megashop locations:

* Park Place Market II, 4780 Natomas Blvd. in Sacramento
* Broadstone Plaza, 2735 East Bidwell St. in Folsom
* 1200 Galleria Blvd. in Roseville

If you go (I know I will), let me hear from you by posting a comment below.

August 23, 2007
Meyer's Picks

Above, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) meets with CIA internal investigator Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) in "The Bourne Ultimatum."

Each week in Friday's Weekend Ticket, I review the weekend's new movies. I also list recommendations for recently released films in a feature called Meyer's Picks. Now, you can find this feature each Thursday afternoon here at 21Q.

Here are my recommendations:

The Bourne Ultimatum
4 stars
Reprising their roles from previous “Bourne” films, Julia Stiles and Joan Allen lend gravity to their characters, a CIA agent and internal investigator, respectively. Indeed, a scene between Stiles and Matt Damon plays as a gloom-off. But all that dourness seems worth it once Stiles finally grins.

Rated PG-13

3 1/2 stars
A real cutup in her starring roles, Amanda Bynes makes a surprisingly nifty sidekick as Penny, best friend of the film's protagonist, Tracy (Nikki Blonsky). Bynes downplays her natural ebullience until it reaches the surface when Penny first locks eyes with true love Seaweed (Elijah Kelley).

Rated PG-13

3 stars
The rampant raunchiness can seem a bit forced, and the high jinks less exciting than they should be, but the young actors are pitch perfect. Jonah Hill somehow shapes aggressiveness and insecurity into endearing traits as a sex-obsessed teen. Beneath this young man’s Hustler-mag sensibility lies a sensitive soul – at least where his relationship with his best friend is concerned. Michael Cera is delightful as the friend, more thoughtful and polite but equally as bent on having a good time on the eve of graduation.

Rated R

That's my list. Now let's see what you think. Just click on the comments button below.

August 23, 2007
Diana watch

BOOK_DIANASTYLE.jpgIf the tributes to the late Diana Spencer are weighing you down, can you make room for one more?

Especially if you collect books that are all things "Diana."

Hot off St. Martin's Press (today as a matter of fact) is "Diana Style," written by Colin McDowell, the London Sunday Times senior fashion writer, who also has penned books on designers Ralph Lauren, John Galliano and Manolo Blahnik. In fact, Blahnik, known for his incredible shoes, wrote the foreward for "Diana Style."

The book celebrates Diana's life as an international fashion icon - from the moment she stepped on the scene wearing a low-cut black dress in 1981 until her untimely death 10 years ago this month.

What I like about the book is that it does not focus on the sadness and scandel that enveloped her life, but rather on how her choices in clothing helped her express herself and reach out to others.

There are original sketches of some of the outfits Diana wore, even sections on her jewelry, shoes and hats. The chapter on her hair and makeup opens with this quote from her: "People wonder how I always look as if I've just had my hair done. It's because I have."

If you loved the books "Audrey Style" (Audrey Hepburn) and "Jackie Style" (Jackie Kennedy Onassis), you'll want to peruse "Diana Style." It's $29.95 at bookstores.

August 22, 2007
Curse or bad judgment?

Warner Bros.

You've probably heard about the "Oscar curse", the theory that the next step after an Academy Award is "Boat Trip" (Cuba Gooding Jr.) or "Aeon Flux" (Charlize Theron).

Missing from the Berrys and Benignis that inevitably get mentioned is one name, Nicole Kidman. Yet a glance at Kidman's resume since she won her Oscar for 2002's "The Hours" shows a string of box-office disappointments, the most recent of which is the clunker "The Invasion" (pictured).

I know, I know. That's partly because she chooses quirky and/or arty projects such as "Dogville," "Birth" and "Fur." But I'm pretty sure "Bewitched" and "The Stepford Wives" weren't just labors of love.

Kidman will star in two promising films in the coming months. They include "Margot at the Wedding," from Noah Baumbach, director of the indie gem "The Squid and the Whale," and "The Golden Compass," a potential monster hit of a fantasy film.

But the days of $17 million paychecks (Kidman's reported asking price) might be numbered.

August 22, 2007
It's face first at the fair

duoeyeshadow_BLOG.jpgThe California State Fair definitely has beautiful touches this ride around.

Last week, I blogged about the L'Bel Paris mobile van that showed up on the fairgrounds to do complimentary facials and offer beauty tips.

Starting Thursday, Pantina Cosmetics, which is based in New Jersey, is trekking - a la a big beauty bus - to the fair for the four-day beauty blitz.

The cosmetics company will be giving away free makeup samples and offering mini makeovers. Participants also will be treated to all the chilled Crystal Light they can consume. And, considering how hot it's been, that's a bonus!

The Pantina folks will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Just peruse the fairgrounds and look for the beauty bus.

August 21, 2007
Chico brothers to get possible Lifetime treatment

jetfuel2.JPGIn January, I interviewed Dan Goodson, the Chico father of three autistic sons - two of who'd formed a rock band Jet Fuel Only.

Goodson encouraged his sons to start the band after seeing an article about the positive effects music can have on autistic children.

The band, featuring 13-year-old Sawyer and 12-year-old Evan, got to show off their rock chops on the "Rachael Ray Show."

Today, Jet Fuel Only, which also includes Emma Blankenship on bass and back-up singer Holly Rumiano, is still going strong, and Goodson tells us, the Lifetime cable network is considering a movie based on the family's experience.

In fact, a script writer's headed to Chico this week to interview the family and check out the band at a Monstros Pizza gig on Friday.

That show, set up by one of my personal indie rock heroes, singer-songwriter Barbara Manning, is free and all-ages. Jet Fuel Only will kick off the night at 8 p.m. and Manning, along with a few other acts, will also perform. Monstros is located at 628 W. Sacramento Ave. in Chico.

The Lifetime deal, Goodson adds, is just "in development" but the family's hopeful that Blueprint Studios, the production company interested in making the flick, will want to make good on its 12-month story option.

Dad adds that he's the one most excited about the prospect.

In typical rock star fashion, he says, the boys are more interested in going back to school and getting into the studio to record some songs.

For more info on the Monstros show or to hear some Jet Fuel Only tracks, check out the band's MySpace page.

August 21, 2007
Vogue glam online

Vogue is making fashion history: Its September fall fashion issue, at a whopping 840 pages (4 pounds, 9 ounces), sets a record as the largest monthly consumer magazine ever published. Ever!

The magazine attributes much of the ad revenue to today's launch of ShopVogue.TV, a video online shopping and entertainment network.

Vogue started this project last fall, timing its debut with the fall issue. I've checked it out, and I hope your wallet is loaded because you could spend beaucoup bucks at the network, all the while watching "new shows" on the portal. To check it out yourself, click here.

First up?

* 60 Seconds to Chic: Update your wardrobe with insider tips, including how "geek" eyewear is hip for day and night.

* Behind the Lens: Directors and photographers let you go behind the scenes for films, ad campaigns and commercials.

* Trend Watch: There are interviews with designers, boutique openings, plus luxury product launches and tips from Hollywood makeup artist Kathy Jeung.

* The Collections: Didn't make it to the most recent runway shows? Get a front-row seat at New York, London, Milan and Paris. I checked out designers Carolina Herrera and Ralph Lauren's fall 2007 collections. If I had plenty of dough, I could shop the ads or shop the video if I spotted something to die for, which I did.

www.ShopVogue.TV is a massive effort, no doubt, with more than 240 minutes or original programming. Viewers can stress their credit cards while perusing more than 500 ads! You can shop by price (under $100 to over $10,000), brand (hundreds of labels), trend (menswear looks, jewel tones) or department (accessories and apparel to cosmetics).

Obviously, you can link to an e-commerce site and even send product info and store locations to your phone.

What does this mean for Vogue? Exposure, baby! And probably more ad dollars.

The network is scheduled to be revamped in early November for the holiday season. I'll check back then!

August 20, 2007
Love this store!


Finally, finally I made it out to Arden Fair mall this past weekend to check out some of the new stores. I got there early and, for a short while, had the entire new J.Crew store to myself!

And what a beautiful job they did turning the former Eddie Bauer digs into this sleek, very New York-like store. (It's between Sephora and Gap on the first level.) Lots of wood and cool J.Crew artwork. There are comfy chairs for folks who need to take a load off from shopping. Women's clothing is in the front; men's clothing toward the rear.

If you're a J.Crew fan, you'll be delighted by the expansive inventory. I saw lots of the latest fall fashions, including the great City-fit cropped pant and the cute cashmere short-sleeve tees, which were marked down. I grabbed one in heather pine (a pretty green), but the table was loaded with lots of other colors, from jewel tones to neutrals like charcoal gray, black and navy blue.

I like the vest look for men, worn with a striped shirt underneath and the washed cord sportcoat.

Everyone should be able to find something dashing for fall. I know I did! While you're there, grab a free copy of the store's most recent catalog (pictured).

I also poked my head in the M.A.C cosmetics store. It's been there for awhile, but I like that you can look through the products and try things out. I'm a big fan of their creamy cleanser.

Granted, I personally haven’t been shopping much during the summer. Flip-flops and skirts get me through the dog days. But with the Gap moving down next to J.Crew at Arden, I walked down the mall to see what’s going into the Gap’s former digs near the L’Occitane store.

Coach, which currently is next to Illuminations, will move into this much bigger space. And that means more fab handbags!

August 17, 2007
'Dr.' Grundy

Sacramento Bee/Michael Allen Jones

My 21Q colleague, Bee theater critic Marcus Crowder, dropped a postcard on my desk the other day from a reader named Katrina Williams. Katrina's note said, "Watch for Rueben Grundy as Dr. Peter Ryan on 'The Young & the Restless' Aug. 17," which is today.

Well, Marcus apparently didn't have time to catch the CBS soap, but I sure did. Not only do I know Rueben (pictured above in 2003), but I've worked with this talented, handsome young man on several photo shoots for special fashion sections of The Bee.

Anyway, Rueben, who has modeled for the Sacramento agency Cast Images, caught the acting bug years ago. I'm happy to say that I was one of the first to spot him as a fashion reporter on another CBS daytime drama, "The Bold & the Beautiful."

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't spend all day watching soaps, but "B&B" happens to focus on my job, i.e. covering fashion. So I almost fell out of my chair when I saw Rueben playing the role of snarky journalist.

Anyway, I found myself glued to the tube at 11 this morning to see if, indeed, Katrina was right about Rueben. I figured the storyline had to be tied to a character named Kevin wanting to help his former psycho girlfriend named Jana obtain surgery for a brain tumor. (She has no health insurance.) Got that?

Well, the hour dragged on with numerous other plots. I was about to give up on seeing Rueben, when there he was - in the final few minutes - dressed in doctor garb and giving Kevin and Jana some not-so-good news:

"Surgery is very risky," he says. Followed by this from Kevin: "Why don't doctors say what they mean?"

Now, I'm hoping to speak with Rueben directly from L.A. soon about his new role. In the meantime, Katrina's postcard says he's scheduled to appear Aug. 27-29 and again Sept. 6.

Set your TiVos.

"Y&R" has always been one of the top-rated shows. (It tied for best drama back in June at the Daytime Emmy Awards.)

Way to go, Rueben! You look good with a stethoscope.

August 16, 2007
Meyer's Picks

Each week in Friday's Weekend Ticket, I review the weekend's new movies. I also list recommendations for recently released films in a feature called Meyer's Picks. Now, you can find this feature each Thursday afternoon here at 21Q.

Here are my recommendations:

The Bourne Ultimatum
4 stars

The handheld camera work might unsettle some viewers, but it adds tremendous immediacy to this nonstop-action film. Memory-challenged CIA-trained assassin Jason Bourne is an implausibly resourceful character, but he always compels, in large part because of Matt Damon's performance. Resembling a bullet in build and determination, Damon's Bourne will attempt to eradicate all obstacles. He was trained to do so. But the key to his character's appeal is that he doesn't want to be what he is.
Rated PG-13

2 1/2 stars

Shopboy-turned-adventurer Tristan (Charlie Cox) is a fool for a beautiful young woman (Sienna Miller), but not a fool altogether. As played by the likable Cox, he's a wonderful, even ideal, fairy-tale hero. Tristan is handsome and adventurous but sensible as well. As much as he enjoys engaging in witty repartee with a fallen star (Claire Danes) in the crater she created, he insists that they keep moving.
Rated PG-13

3 1/2 stars

John Travolta plays a woman here, but his singing voice was higher, not to mention stronger, in "Grease." Yet his performance, though always a curio, is completely infectious, because Travolta emanates such warmth and delight at being able to put on a show. His scenes with Nikki Blonsky, an 18-year-old newcomer and dynamo, brim with affection.
Rated PG

That's my list. Now let's see what you think. Just click on the comments button below.

By Carla Meyer
- Bee Movie Critic

August 16, 2007
A lot more 'High School Musical'

Associated Press

The hype is building by the moment in anticipation of Friday night's debut of "High School Musical 2" on the Disney Channel. I admit all the buzz has me thinking I ought to tune in myself to see what's going on with the teens at East High.

For those who don't know, the show reunites the 2006 cast, including Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens (pictured).

And, because the setting focuses mostly on a country club/golf course - hey, one of the "HSM2" characters tools around in a pink golf cart! - it makes sense that our own Haggin Oaks Golf Complex would want to get in on the action.

(Haggin Oaks is hosting a "High School Musical 2" party Friday night. Sorry, we hear there are no longer any tickets available; hopefully, you were lucky enough to have snagged one. Anyway, Radio Disney's team is expected to get everyone fired up with games, movie trivia, dance routines, and a big-screen showing of "HSM2.")

If you miss that party, be sure not to miss Bee TV Columnist Rick Kushman's column on "HSM2" in Friday's Scene section. And, catch up with my interview next Wednesday on Scene's Page 3 with Tom McKinley, costume designer for "High School Musical," both 1 and 2, on how he selected clothes for the cast.

August 15, 2007
Ed Brazo: In his spare time


Director, choreographer and educator Ed Brazo puts his more than 25 years of professional theater experience to good use, teaching musical theater at CSUS. He also sometimes moonlights at the Music Circus, and this week, Brazo plays Rudy, the no-nonsense head waiter (pictured in the back of the photo) in “Hello, Dolly!” (Read my review.)

“Dolly” is well known for brassy leads, and Brazo has worked with a few. He toured nationally with Angela Lansbury in a production of “Gypsy” and, ironically, directed and choreographed the Dolly Gallagher icon herself, Miss Carol Channing, in “A Salute to the Arts” here in Sacramento this past spring.

Though I didn’t see that show, I’ll bet a paycheck that Channing delivered her own inimitable version of the title song. (Full disclosure here - the patient Mr. Brazo also choreographed and taught yours truly a dance for my wedding, for which I am eternally grateful.)

August 15, 2007
Anniversary bash at Faces

You have to wait 21 years before you reach legal drinking age - but why let that be the ultimate birthday bash?

Faces celebrates its 22nd anniversary this year, and owner Terry Sidie is doing it up right Friday night with a blow-out party.

Earlier this year, the venerable gay (and straight-friendly) club (at 20th and K streets) unveiled an awesome $2 million remodel that includes the ultimate see-and-be-seen swimming pool - so what I'm saying here is, it's August, folks. Where else do you want to be than poolside at Face's big birthday party?

The festivities get underway at 7 p.m. and will include a free buffet that goes until 9:30. There's also a $2,200 cash prize balloon drop and tunes via DJ Escape.

Best of all, it's free. Free!

What to expect as the club enters its 23rd year? Sidie promises more live entertainment, plus Club Papi, a cool Latin-themed dance party on Sept. 14.

For more Faces info, visit

August 15, 2007
Vanity affair

Vanity-Fair.jpgI just got my greedy hands on one of the first mega fall fashion magazines, the September issue of Vanity Fair, which features Gisele Bundchen on the cover for an article titled "Viva Brazil: Starring Gisele and the new girls (and boys!) from Ipanema."

It's just crazy! The opening spread on the article features Gisele being escorted to a swanky party by two guys in tuxes and one in a swimsuit.

There's really nothing fall-like about the clothes - they're just very, very, well, Brazilian. Oh, to be 20-something and blaming it on Rio!

Otherwise, I really enjoyed the article on American designer Ralph Lauren, who is poised to enter his fifth decade as the fashion bastion of the American Dream.

And, there's an in-depth look at the French couture house of Hermes, which is passing its family-run legacy on to a sixth generation. There are great photos of how the fashion house became a legacy, including a great pic of actress Grace Kelly in 1956, alighting from a car carrying her signature Hermes Kelly handbag. Good stuff.

As usual, these September fashion magazines are dominated by advertising. So, you'll sift through quite a few ad pages at the outset, including the Gap spread, which I wrote about today on Page 3 of Scene.

Glamour is also on magazine racks now, proclaiming the publication's biggest issue in 20 years. Harper's Bazaar goes with actress Kate Hudson on its cover, and Vogue (the big daddy of them all) crashes into mailboxes at 840 pages, with actress Sienna Miller gracing the cover.

Mail carriers must hate this time of year. But for me, it's one of my favorites.

August 14, 2007
Getting the boot

ECCO-Bern-Ankle-Boot.jpgSifting through the mountain of press material on fall fashions (they're here!), a couple of shoe trends are already, ahem, afoot.

One is the ankle boot or, as Nordstrom is calling it, the "shoe bootie." The way I see it, if the Beatles could wear boots, a medium- or- high-heeled version for women is just as dapper.

When I spotted the ECCO Bern Ankle Boot (pictured), I immediately took a shine to it because it has the chic look of the 1960s, while the turned-down leather details and leather bows provide a distinctly modern look. And it's not too towering.

Another step in footwear is being taken toward fall-inspired versions of ballet flats, which are so simple yet can find their way into any of our wardrobes.

J.Crew is doing them in jewel-toned suede, prints and metallic leather. Burberry's quilted patent leather has a berry-red version (also in black) with a cute buckle.

August 14, 2007
My58TV contestants grill KCRA newsies


Well, it's that time of year again. My58TV is staging its "Host Hunt," with the two winners to receive a year-long contract to appear in on-air promos and other publicity schemes.

The contestants have been winnowed to six. And there's still time to vote for your favs. On Friday, Aug. 17, they will reach the Final Four, and then, the two winners will be announced in a one-hour special on My58TV on Aug. 27.

The latest "challenge" for the contestants: to interview a member of the Channel 3 news team. The interviews were as revealing about the Channel 3 "talent" as they were about the aspiring hosts.

Here's what we learned:

* Consumer reporter Lynsey Paulo keeps her Emmys in her china cabinet.

* Reporter Mike TeSelle says he'd be an accountant if he wasn't in TV news. But when his interviewer, Anthony, shot back with the question, "What's 100x88?," TeSelle was stumped.

* Reporter Brian Hickey told his interviewer, Marcus, that the best way for a beginner to get ahead in TV news is to make him coffee.

* And morning anchor Walt Gray revealed intimate secrets about his personal life with his beloved wife, News10 weather guesser Monica Woods. The revelation: "Since I work for the No. 1 station, I really don't get into (talking TV) too much (with Monica)...In terms of ratings, we don't go there."

Walt did concede that, at home, Monica controls the remote and the couple watches News10.

As for the contestants, one of the questions asked of them on the My58TV Web site was to list their "secret pleasure." Three of the six listed "chocolate," but Shannon said, oddly, "people playing with my hair."

Er, get in those votes now, folks!

August 13, 2007
Traveling spa meets state fair

Multiple-Products.jpgThis just in: My 21Q colleague Rachel Leibrock has already mentioned that the L'Bel Paris Mobile Spa was in Rocklin and at the Downtown Plaza last week.

Well, if you're still finalizing your plans for the upcoming State Fair, the 40-foot traveling spa is going to be setting up shop there on opening day (Friday) and operate on the fairgrounds through Aug. 26. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

L'Bel Paris is a line of prestige skin care and cosmetics from France (via San Francisco).

Yes, I know many fairgoers will be watching pig races and shopping for brooms, but if you want some pampering on a hot day - or if you just want to escape the asphalt - here's your chance. The mobile spa is going to be furnished with esthetician stations and makeup touch-up counters - all complimentary.

Heck, the mini-facial alone is going to feel better - and be better for you - than scarfing down a Deep-Fried Love Sandwich (peanut butter, banana sandwich on white bread that's battered and deep fried).

August 10, 2007
Be a calendar girl for 98 Rock

So I get this e-mail from Craig The Dog-Faced Boy, the afternoon jock at 98 Rock (98.5 FM), with the subject line: "Extras Needed for '08 Bod Squad Calendar."

Now, if that doesn't make you want to click on the e-mail, I don't know what would. I mean, who hasn't wanted to be a part of the annual 98 Rock calendar, which traditionally features scantily clad women with interestingly placed tattoos?

Anyway, here's what the e-mail says:


What's up?!?! It's Dog.

You may have heard that we're in the middle of shooting pics for 98 Rock's 2008 Bod Squad Calendar. For one of the months, (we) need about 100 "extras." If you wanna help out and maybe make a cameo in next year's calendar, meet up with us at Empire (R & 15th, Downtown Sac) no later than noon Saturday (Aug. 11).


Craig The Dog-Faced Boy

August 10, 2007
KXJZ to air 'The California Report'

In the most stunning cessation of hostilities since peanut butter and chocolate decided to work together, rival National Public Radio affiliates KXJZ (90.9 FM) of Sacramento and KQED/KQEI (88.5 and 89.3 FM) in San Francisco/Sacramento have entered into a content partnership.

kxjz lo

Starting Monday, KXJZ will begin airing "The California Report," an informative statewide news program produced by KQED. It will air weekdays at 8:50 a.m.

Wow. This would never happen in commercial radio. Imagine 98 Rock and "Jack" collaborating on a program. Ain't gonna happen, folks.

But the public radio sphere is more genteel. And, even though the stations have similar programming and have fought for listeners since KQED launched the KQEI signal in Sac back in May, 2003, lately they have been joining hands in public-radio brotherhood and singing "Kumbaya."

"We've been looking at ways to collaborate," KXJZ station manager Carl Watanabe says in an e-mail response to our query.

"For instance, last fall we jointly presented statewide coverage of the gubernatorial debate. It was Capital Public Radio's local production with KQED's host in San Francisco, and the on-air staff included (KXJZ's) Marianne Russ. I hope we'll find other projects to do with KQED."

August 10, 2007
Missing 'Annie' moment

I see a lot of plays - 50 to 60 a year - and what I remember or don’t about a particular production years later can be sketchy at best. But some moments - for whatever reason - stand out. Before Tuesday night, I’d only seen “Annie” once before, the 2001 Music Circus production directed by Leland Ball. There was a moment in the last number of the show when Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks (Mark Zimmerman) turned toward his efficient, classy assistant Grace Farrell (Rachel deBenedet) and much to her surprise offered her an engagement ring, which she happily accepted. It was something that had remained in my mind’s eye as an emotionally rewarding moment that made sense to me.

At Tuesday night’s opening of “Annie,” at the Wells Fargo Pavilion, I found myself anticipating the exchange - but the moment never happened. Afterward, I cornered artistic director Scott Eckern, asking him if a different version of the play had been used. He said no - this was the same script they had used before, though there were some small alterations in the first act (actually mentioned to me at intermission by eagle-eyed Steve Issacson of the Davis Musical Theatre Company).

I insisted to Scott that something was missing in the final scene (Warbucks is again played by Zimmerman, by the way), and he calmly told me that they were doing the script they had always done. I went home disappointed and a little confused.

The next morning, the exceedingly thorough Mr. Eckern e-mailed me to say he had gone back and looked at the script Leland Ball had used in 2001. While it was the same script, Leland had in fact added the business of the ring and the proposal, which I had seen, and Eckern said he remembered after I asked him about it.

I felt a little better about my memory, though sad for Christy Morton’s Grace Farrell (pictured) who gets no ring in this production.

August 10, 2007
Close your eyes and think of Davis

Jane Austen never goes out of style. But her screen popularity in the United States seems to come in waves, like the one in the mid-1990s that saw film adaptations of "Sense and Sensibility," "Emma," and the TV version of "Pride & Prejudice" featuring Colin Firth's gold-standard portrayal of Mr. Darcy.

The current "Becoming Jane," starring Anne Hathaway as a young Austen, ushers in another wave that will include the early 2008 Masterpiece Theatre presentation of "The Complete Jane Austen" on PBS. This series will encompass four new and two existing Austen adaptations, including the Firth "P&P."

Before that comes October's "The Jane Austen Book Club," based on Davis writer Karen Joy Fowler's novel about a group of avid Austen readers.

The ensemble film stars "Devil Wears Prada" Oscar nominee Emily Blunt (pictured at left with Marc Blucas), along with Hugh Dancy, Maria Bello, Jimmy Smits and others.

Like the book, the film is set in the Sacramento area. But according to its distributor, the movie was shot in...Southern California.

Oak trees, palm trees. Same difference.

August 10, 2007
Fashion finds that are second to none

Just a quick reminder that Second Saturday is this weekend, so make a pit stop at the ATM and head to midtown - and downtown - to get in on some funky fashion finds. (Olipom on 21st street, between L and K, is always a good destination.)

On a completely unrelated topic - has the local Beauty Patrol noticed that every year, the fall makeup lines hit the counters while we're all still wearing flip-flops and tank tops?

I was checking out some of the new collections and, while they're really, really pretty, I'm just not ready to start wearing red lipstick or heavy eyeliner!

That said, check out a couple of what I'll call "transitional" lines to get us through until the official start of fall:

BLOG_RUSHMETAL.jpg * M.A.C: The Flashtronic and Rushmetal (shown left) collections are on counters through Aug. 31.

Flashtronic is super-unique because both the face powders and the eyeshadows have three to four shades swirled together in sort of a marble-like fashion. (The products can be complemented by new shades of M.A.C. lip gloss in neutral and pink shades.)

The Rushmetal collection is one that definitely will take you into the dog days of summer. Lots of rich, metallic pigments for eyes and lips in shades of gold.

* BeneFit: And, speaking of gold, check out BeneFit's 24K lipstick collection. The gold lipsticks and lip glosses ($20 each) give you a golden sheen that's summery and warm. I like them because we have a choice of either a stick or something more shiny.

Finally, note to you: If you plan on heading to the California State Fair, which opens a week from today, let me know here at 21Q if you spot any fun fashion finds. You never know what you'll see on the Midway!

August 9, 2007
Meyer's Picks: Now playing/still playing

Each Friday in The Bee's Weekend Ticket section, I review new movies. I also do a feature called Meyer's Picks, recommending films that opened in previous weeks but still are playing in Sacramento theaters.

Starting today, Meyer's Picks also will appear each Thursday afternoon on 21Q, and I would like to get your comments on these films, as well as your own recommendations for what to see this weekend.

My picks:

The Bourne Ultimatum
4 stars

A genre film is an interesting choice as Oscar-nominated director Paul Greengrass' follow-up to "United 93," but there's more to "Bourne Ultimatum" than just action. Screenwriters Tony Gilroy, Scott Z. Burns and George Nolfi lace the film with political commentary. Government officials, for example, justify excessive measures by citing the times in which we live. The film leaves us with a lesson: If you want privacy, don't join the CIA. Or use a cell phone.
Rated PG-13

3 1/2 stars

Usually, news that an animated film will please adults is a mere deal-sweetener, since parents are going anyway. But this might be that rare G-rated film that adults enjoy even more than children. In other words, some scenes cater to folks who prefer truffles over goldfish crackers.
Rated G

Talk to Me
3 1/2 stars

As the late radio DJ and comedian Petey Greene, Don Cheadle finds every nuance behind his complex character. From the moment an incarcerated Petey, who is a DJ on the prison PA system, tries to sell himself to a visiting radio-station executive (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Cheadle lets us in on the character's mix of great confidence and profound insecurity. In other words, Petey is a born celebrity.
Rated R

Now, let's see your picks. Hit the comment button below.

August 9, 2007
Wikipedia finds Lisa Heyamoto


Gee, we'd been wondering what former 21Q resident Lisa Heyamoto has been up to since she left our cozy confines in the blogosphere and sought different digs in The Bee's metro department.

Well, turns out, Lisa has been garnering credit on Wikipedia for coining a term: "Google Twin." That is, that person who shares your name, but whose information comes up ahead of yours when you do an online search.

Congrats to Lisa, but let the record show that she wrote her story, with said term, while she was a member of The Bee's features department. (And a resident of 21Q!)

August 9, 2007
'Daily Show' or local TV news: Part 10


"The Sports Show," that wacky half-hour recap of sports news that airs after the late news Saturday nights on Channel 13, went poolside last week.

And now, the people who produce it are in troubled waters - with station management.

Seems hosts Gary Gelfand (left) and Arran Andersen (right) , along with their executive producer, thought it would be fun to stage a "pool party". And what naturally goes with that? Why, comely young women and beer, of course.

(Correction: We orginally reported that the "live shot" took place both in the pool and the hot tub. We have since confirmed that there was no hot tubbin'.)

Callers to Channel 13 - and a few e-mailers to your media correspondent - asked whether the bikini-clad models were of drinking age. As it turns out, station manager Bruno Cohen and news director Steve Charlier were asking the same thing.

"We investigated and, to our knowledge, there was not (underage drinking) going on," Charlier tells us.

However, the semi-salacious nature of the segment drew the ire of Charlier and Cohen.

"We had some conceptual and editorial problems with what was going on there," Cohen says. "It would surprise me greatly to see anything like that again."

The hosts and their executive producer have been told as much, Charlier confirms.

"It is something we’ve talked to our staff about," he says. "More than anything, we addressed what the content of that show should be and it’s sports. We’re the only sports show in the market that dedicates a half hour, and I think we do some good feature content on local athletes. That’s the type of content we want on there.

"I still don’t want a traditional sportscast, as I've said before. But we’ve got to be smart and focus on sports."

Postscript: This is what you get when you hire a sportscaster (Gelfand) who, on his station bio, lists Will Ferrell as his role model and his dream job as "Grip on a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Calendar shoot." A tip of the beer stein to you, Gary.

August 9, 2007
Heading home to Sacramento!

Well, I've spent almost two weeks on the East Coast (in particular, the states of Virginia and North Carolina). And I can report, with a modicum of assurance, that the West Coast has officially taken over fashion - New York notwithstanding.

Unfortunately, Crocs have invaded the Southeast. I knew once I tried to eradicate them from California that they would be slithering elsewhere. Lots of folks here are sporting the reptilian rubber shoes - in every color, with or without socks!

But fortunately, hip and fashion-forward beachgoers have discovered the West Coast penchant for Reef and Rainbow flip-flops. I found a cute pair of pink Rainbows at a store called Salty's in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., right next to the kayak and parasailing brochures. (I took a pass on those activities.)

Also, John Deere continues to be the official sponsor of the most sought-after tractor apparel, including T-shirts, hats, gloves and, yes, underwear.

My best fashion find? It would have to be the "Big on the Pig" T-shirts from the Charleston, S.C.-based Piggly Wiggly supermarkets. If you see one of them on the streets of Sacramento in the next few days, you'll know where it came from.

Meanwhile, a shout-out to my blogging colleague Mike Dunne over at Appetizers: Hey Mike, ever hear of something called "Squash Pie?" Trust me, squash is the least of the ingredients. Coconut, eggs, butter, brown sugar, pecans ... you put on a pound just looking at a slice.

Anyway, heading back to Sacramento, I realize that, while my Southern drawl has returned and I've learned to appreciate the perfect chicken biscuit from Hardee's, I'm ready to come home.

I can't string another five-gallon bucket of green beans.

August 9, 2007
Free L'Bel spa treatments

I don't know about you, but I've had a very stressful week. Like nail-biting, sleep-losing, comfort-food-indulging stressful.

It'll take a while to get my nails looking better, and let's not even talk about those five pounds that will surely overstay their welcome. But the lack of sleep? Well, luckily, all it takes is a little solid shut-eye and some sweet pampering to reverse the damage.

So, here's your (and my) official reminder: theL'Bel Mobile Spa is at the Blue Oaks Marketplace in Rocklin today (at the corner of Blue Oaks and Lone Tree boulevards). You'll have until 5 p.m. to take advantage of free mini-facials, skin care, makeup touch-ups and beauty tips.

Can't make it today? You'll get another chance Friday and Saturday, from 11 a.m.-6 pm. at the Downtown Plaza. Again, more feel-good treatments all for the low, low cost of nothing.

Because nothing says "relax" like "free."

August 8, 2007
Joe Carnahan program moves

Sacramento Bee/Kevin German

A marquee event at the Sacramento International Film & Music Festival has moved a few places on the marquee, schedule-wise.

Homegrown director Joe Carnahan's ("Narc"; "Smokin' Aces") on-stage appearance at the festival will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday instead of 9 p.m. Friday at the Crest Theatre.

The film "August the First," originally scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday, will fill Carnahan's Friday slot.

Citing unforeseen circumstances for the move, festival organizers apologized for any inconvenience and said they would honor pre-purchased tickets for the two programs at their new times.

For more information on the festival, just click here.

August 8, 2007
Angora fire benefit show at Marilyn's

The blaze is - thankfully - long out, but Lake Tahoe is still dealing with the aftermath of June's brutal Angora fire.

Thursday night's Angora Fire Benefit Show at Marilyn's (908 K St.) aims to help lessen the impact. There'll be 11 artists on hand, with 100 percent of the proceeds going directly to the Lake Tahoe Angora Fire Fund.

Cool, huh?

The rock, pop and funk line-up features the Jahari Sai Trio, Bonfire, Nathan Croswhite, Katie Jane, the Velvet Jones, Ricky Berger, David Houston, 2Me, Justin Farren, Out of Place and Abandon Theory.

A raffle also will be held; donated prizes include a two-night stay at Lake Tahoe's Montbleu Hotel & Casino, movie tickets, and a California State Fair gift package.

The 8 p.m. show costs $10 at the door and is 21-and-over only.

For more info, visit

August 8, 2007
Mark Williams joins Channel 13

The Channel 13 morning show, which already has a provocative voice in anchor Chris Burrous, continues to push the envelope when it comes to local morning TV news.

Former KFBK conservative talker Mark Williams (pictured) will give his views on politics and social issues every other Monday at 6 a.m. He starts Aug. 20.

The addition of Williams is yet another indication that Channel 13 is carving a niche for itself in the market as the right-wing station in town. It has used Republican spinmeister Rob Stutzman as an evening news political commentator, and nightly commentator R.E. Graswich leans right, as well.

Then again, Burrous' morning show actually has been accused of a left-wing tilt, after his publicized tiff with Rush Limbaugh recently.

Steve Charlier, vice president for news at channel 13 and 31, could not immediately be reached for comment.

But Burrous tells us this morning that, "although I don't speak for the station," he wants all points of view from local media mavens on his show. He's talking about getting writers from the Sacramento News & Review, the blog, as well as Sactown and Prosper magazines to regularly appear on the show.

"We're just trying to make this show as relevant as possible for where we call home," Burrous says. "You don't do that by running lots of video from Kansas City. And while we've got the day's hard news covered, I figure these publications and pundits do a superb job of covering other things in-depth or just covering issues and items that I'd never notice or we couldn't possibly cover."

August 7, 2007
Tips from 21Q's backup fashion writer

small mat dress.jpgsmall thong.jpg

Because 21Q readers miss the fashionista musings of Leigh Grogan, who's been " target="_blank">on vacation, your humble media guy has been asked to weigh in on fashion.

So ....

How about some fine "Good Day Sacramento" apparel, courtesy of

You can purchase everything from a maternity dress to a thong with Channel 31's slogan, "Don't leave home until 10 a.m."

We know you'll see this on runways from here to Milan.

Hey, a "GDS" thong sure beats a News10 coffee mug or KCRA hat when it comes to originality.

And, remember, it's "Made in the USA."

August 7, 2007
Banned in Sacramento?

We all know that the parting between conservative talking head Mark Williams and his former employer, KFBK (1530 AM), was about as amicable as the Alec Baldwin-Kim Basinger divorce.

Now, it's seemingly reached a new level.

Seems Williams was filling in last Saturday for syndicated right-wing talker Mike McConnell, whose show airs from 10 a.m. to noon on KSTE (650 AM), KFBK's sister station in the Clear Channel fam.

Every single station in the 100-plus markets that carries McConnell's weekend show aired it, as usual, with Williams filling in - except for KSTE. Operations manager Alan Eisenson confirmed that the station ran a "best of" Armstrong & Getty Show instead. He did not give a reason for the switch, but ...

Let's face it, all of you Williams fans who bother contact me: Your hero is never going to be back on the air, at least on a Clear Channel station, in Sacramento.

We e-mailed Williams, who wrote us back: "I wish I could comment. Can't. Lawyers won't let me."

August 7, 2007
'Good Day Sac' gets national attention


OK, so it wasn't exactly prime time, but the weekend edition of "Good Day Sacramento" got some network recognition Monday night from Craig Ferguson (left), host of CBS' "Late Late Show."

It seems that "GDS" anchor Taryn Winter Brill has a thing for Ferguson and has waxed eloquent about him on the weekend show. She even framed a photograph of the Scot.

But, while Brill was praising Ferguson's dry humor, co-anchor Cody Stark was showing his appreciation by pretending to stick his finger in Ferguson's nose.

Ferguson showed that clip, then looked into the camera and mugged: "On the one hand, attractive woman, likes the show. That's nice. On the other hand, what the hell are you doing with the finger in the nose there? I'm kind of insulted but in a sexy way."

No word yet on whether Ferguson has taken out a restraining order against Brill.

August 6, 2007
News10's FCC fine

Oh, calm down. It wasn't because of a wardrobe malfunction featuring Ryan Yamamoto or due to Melissa Crowley swearing a blue streak about the hellacious traffic. Nothing that sensational.

No, it seems News10 was fined $6,000 by the feds for a "willful and repeated violation of Section 73.3526(e)(11)(iii)."

Whoa. Sounds ominous.

Actually, according to the FCC notice released Friday, the station simply forgot to "prepare and place in its public inspection file a Children's Television Programming Report...for each calendar quarter reflecting the efforts it has made ... to serve the educational needs of children."

News10, in the filing, said that "as a result of staff turnover and miscommunications concerning the requirement to publicize, it did not air the announcements" on where to find the files from 1998-2001 and 2004 through November of 2005.

In other words, the dog ate News10's homework.

"This was no surprise to us," says Russell Postell, News10's president and general manager. "We noticed the error when were were reapplying (for the station's license) and brought it to (the FCC's) attention."

August 6, 2007
Sacramento public radio program changes

KXJZ (90.9 FM), Sacramento's National Public Radio affiliate, will shake up its news and information programming starting Monday.

Gone will be "News & Notes," a public affairs program dealing with issues affecting African Americans. It had aired from 1-2 p.m., but its listenership has been small, station executives say.

What's added will be an extra half hour of "All Things Considered," which, starting Monday, June 13, will begin at 3:30 p.m. And the popular business program "Marketplace," will air twice - at 3 p.m. and its usual time at 6:30 p.m.

Carl Watanabe, station manager, says "Marketplace" is updated three times daily. "The features are the same, but the market news is new each time, so it won't be the same program," he says.

So here's the new afternoon lineup: 1–2 p.m. "The World"; 2–3 p.m. "Insight"; 3–3:30 p.m. "Marketplace"; 3:30–6:30 p.m. "All Things Considered"; 6:30–7 p.m. "Marketplace."

August 6, 2007
Splatter TV

Those marketing guys at Channel 13 never stop, even when they aren't doing wacky promos for their newscasts.

Erik Candiani, of the station's creative services department, has entered a Heinz ketchup user-generated commercial contest being waged right now on YouTube.

Two on-air "talent" appear in the spot - Mark S. Allen and Gary Gelfand. It's shot at Awful Annie's restaurant in Lincoln.

August 6, 2007
Saturday to-do: Dusty Brown, Scissors for Lefty and Ancient Sons at the Townhouse

I know it's only Monday (insert "Office Space" case-of-the-Mondays joke here), but it's time to look ahead to the weekend.

Because I just know you'll be out cruising all those midtown Second Saturday events, and here's a nice way to cap off your evening:

Local artists Dusty Brown, Scissors for Lefty, the Ancient Sons and the Generals will be playing the Townhouse (1517 21st St.).

DJs Samijam and Adam J. will also be on hand, spinning some fine tunes.

The show is hosted by Concerts4Charity, a national organization that benefits charities such as HeadCount, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the American Red Cross.

What this means for you is that admission for the 9 p.m., 21-and-over show is however much you feel like donating.

Suggestion: Karma is a you-know-what - so be generous, 'kay?

August 3, 2007
Final calls for Sacramento shows


Capital Stage’s extended run of Neil LaBute’s “Fat Pig” finishes up this weekend with three performances (at 8 tonight, 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday) on the Delta King in Old Sacramento. Christin O’Cuddehy (pictured) and Shaun Carroll provide the flawed humanity in the powerfully acted piece.

The Sacramento Shakespeare Festival closes this weekend (it’s only August! What gives?). Kim McCann’s Kabuki “Macbeth” ends Saturday, while Luther Hanson’s Moulin Rouge-inspired "Comedy of Errors” has its last shows tonight and Sunday. Both play at 8 p.m. at the William Carroll Amphitheatre across from the zoo in Land Park.

Finally, the Music Circus production of Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me Kate” is well worth checking out. Besides star-caliber performances by Lynne Wintersteller and Paul Schoeffler, there’s a strong attractive ensemble, plus you get some of the greatest songs written for musical theater performed by an outstanding band under John Johnson’s musical direction. It plays at 8 tonight and Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

August 3, 2007
Catching up with former Sac TV reporters

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From our "Where Have They Gone?" file comes this word about three former Channel 13/Channel 31 reporters who all are now working in the Bay Area.

* Former Channel 13 weekend anchor Patti Lee (pictured left) is freelancing as a reporter for KTVU, the Fox affiliate in the Bay Area.

* Former Channel 13 reporter Charlotte Fadipe (pictured right), whose contract was not renewed last month, is freelancing for KPIX as a reporter.

* And former "Good Day Sacramento" weekend reporter Heather Hudgens is now the traffic reporter at KPIX, the CBS affiliate in San Francisco.

August 3, 2007
Can't Jay Alan keep a job?

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Former KFBK (1530 AM) afternoon anchor Jay Alan, who left the station in March to become communications director for the California Conservation Corps, is now leaving that job.

Although he's staying in government.

Alan (real name: Jay Alan Wierenga) has been appointed assistant director of communications for the governor's Office of Homeland Security. He starts Monday.

So, you might actually hear Alan on KFBK again, only this time as the interviewee. "Let's hope it's under the best of circumstances," he says.

August 3, 2007
'Good Day Sacramento': Burrous vs. Brill


When no controversy exists, Channel 31's "Good Day Sacramento" has no qualms about manufacturing it. Take that tired shtick done by the feckless Mark S. Allen, where at least once every two weeks he "storms off the set" in anger. (Let's just say he's no De Niro when it comes to acting.)

Actually, the latest spat on "GDS" seems legit. Either that, or the two combatants - anchors Chris Burrous and Taryn Winter Brill - are hecka good actors.

Here's the deal: A few days ago, the I'll-say-anthing Burrous dismissively referred to his former weekend "GDS" co-anchor Brill as "Taryn Winter Shrill." Brill - now partnering with Cody Stark on weekends, while Burrous anchors Channel 13's morning news and contributes to the weekday "GDS" - was none too pleased.

Anyway, apparently the producers thought it'd be great TV to have the two hash out their differences on the air. (Hey, isn't that what the H.R. department is for?)

Brill: "Chris, you have a problem with my voice? I have a problem with the area on you between your chin and the top of your head."

Oh, snap!

Brill: "Chris, you're messing with the wrong East Coaster. I'm game whenever you're ready."

P.S.: Later in the show, there's a "Question of the Day" segment. The question was: "Who would you like to compete against in a foot race?"

Burrous' answer: "I want to race Lois Hart. And I want to be behind her. I think she's hot."

That man really will say anything on on the air - at least until the FCC intervenes.

August 2, 2007
Where the news comes first?: Part 2

Hot on the heels of My58TV's interview last week with the Playboy bunny mom in Tracy, the station known for soft news struck again this week with an interview with two lingerie models for Victoria's Secret.

Intrepid anchor Deirdre Fitzpatrick, apparently realizing the ridiculousness of the assignment, asked Heidi Klum and Marisa Miller: "What is the strangest thing about (talking about bras) being your job?"

The "ladies," as co-host Chris Riva called them, didn't catch the irony.

"I love it," Miller enthused.

Klum: "I feel like we're test-driving the bras, you know...So I feel proud that I know what's coming up next."

OOOOKKK then....

Once Riva stopped drooling, he pulled it together enough to ask a question of Miller.

Riva: "Now Marisa, you grew up at least some of the time in Watsonville?"

Miller: "How'd you know that?"

Riva: "When I have super models on the show, I do research."

The most amazing? They spent four minutes of precious airtime on this story.

August 2, 2007
Fox40 loses three veteran reporters


Fox40's evening news will have a different look in the next few weeks.

Gone are three familiar faces - reporters Jonathan Carlson, Tim Sakahara (pictured) and Georgette Copes.

Replacing them are Michelle Liu (who formerly worked in Springfield, Ill.), Bethany Crouch (who comes from the Tri-Cities in Washington state) and Jamie Soriano (who worked in Salinas).

Liu started at the station this week, and Crouch and Soriano come aboard in late August, according to news director Tom Burke.

Burke, however, declined to talk about the reasons for the departures of Carlson, Sakahara and Copes, citing the station's personnel policies. But he did add that "there's nothing sinister. TV news is a fluid business. People move around."

Carlson is said to be moving to the East Coast. Sakahara is moving to a station in Hawaii, and Copes is relocating to San Diego.

Behind the scenes, Sakahara's wife, Karisse, also has left her position as executive producer of News10's morning show.

August 2, 2007
West Sac man tired of taking calls for Channel 13

Poor Curtis Carroll. The West Sacramento man has a phone number that's one digit away from the main phone line for Channel 13 and sister station Channel 31. (And, no, we're not going to give out his number here.)

Anyway, he says he's tired of fielding calls complaining about the newscasts on both stations. So tired, in fact, that he has recorded the following outgoing message on his home-answering machine:

If you thought you reached Channel 13 or Channel 31, home of adolescent anchoring, juvenile journalism and the worst newscast in the state, you didn't. You got that number wrong. If you got the right number, leave a message. Thanks.

Carroll, in an e-mail, explains his plight: "My wife and I have had our phone number for nearly 19 years, a few years before Channel 13 relocated to West Sacramento. We've had to endure hundreds of misdials and have always been pleasant. In the past dozen or so years, their news quality and commitment has slowly declined to the point now it barely could be called journalism. In my own small way, I am getting retribution."


August 1, 2007
Hair-raising time in Roseville

The '60s pop beats and overall fun of "Hairspray" inevitably cause toes to tap. The urge to sing along, however, thus far has been hampered by a) fear of public embarrassment, and b) lack of familiarity with the lyrics.

No longer. From Friday through next Thursday, New Line will offer special sing-along screenings of the film at Century Theatres in Roseville (at 12:50 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 10:05 p.m. each day).

With lyrics provided on the screen, viewers can sing along with impunity to "Good Morning Baltimore" and "You Can't Stop the Beat."

It's one more way to experience "Hairspray," which already has been a 1988 non-musical John Waters film and a Broadway musical. New Line obviously decided against my idea for an interactive experience: "Spray-Along 'Hairspray.'" (With only non-aerosol products, of course).

It probably wasn't such a great idea, anyway. Hairspray isn't very delicious as an accidental popcorn topping.

August 1, 2007
Shakespeare's rhymes and rhythms

Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench

While much has been made of Shakespeare’s rhymes and rhythm (iambic pentameter, if you must know), little is known of his skills as an MC. Interestingly, two productions this summer somewhat address this absence of knowledge.

In the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s genre-shifting production of “Romeo and Juliet,” a DJ breaks out some beats at the Capulet’s dance after the usual lute and recorder set. Though the scene is played straight, it’s hard not to laugh at the juxtaposition.

More intentionally funny is the hip-hop music lesson that Greg Bryan’s outrageous Hortensio gives Karyn Casl’s super-cool Bianca at the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival’s “Taming of the Shrew” (pictured above).This jammin’ interlude raises the roof (well, it would if it weren't under the stars) and gets heads nodding, thanks to the two actors' gleeful abandon to the ridiculous moment.

If you don’t know the story, in order to gain access to Bianca, one of her suitors, Hortensio, disguises himself as the music teacher “Lit-E-O.” He must compete with Lucentio, also angling for Bianca’s affections, who has disguised himself as the scholar Cambio. (Check out my review.)

It’s interesting how similar ideas come to the surface in such different ways.

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