Next week

Okay, peeps, next week I’m off to NYC.  First and foremost to emcee Digital content newfront which brings together online advertisers and content providers (refer to earlier comments about how I need to monetize this site).  I was very pleased to be asked.  And I will be also shooting some stuff for The Fashion Team.  I am going to be covering the Ffany’s.  What? you don’t know what it is? Well, until my gbff Michael told me about it, I didn’t either.  But, it’s the shoe equivilent of fashion week.

It’s going to be action packed and I doubt I will have any social/fun time.  I have to admit that I don’t feel guilty about going. This is a first.  But, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my kids and it’s nice that Vivien is old enough to get the “mommy comes back” idea and I will have that tug when I go to walk out the door.  But, honestly, kind of looking forward to a little break.

While I am gone I’m going to try to thumb out some stuff on my phone, but not sure how well that will work. So, Tuesday I’m going to have Amanda from Crabmommy guest blog for me.  She was my first mom blogger friend.  She used to blog at Cookie magazine (RIP) and I always enjoyed her sassy, no apology voice.

Cute picture of Rex and his young mom, huh? I photo shopped the hell out of my face.  This is how I look in my idealized brain.  Maybe if I had had him at 24.  Which I so didn’t.  Oye.

It’s almost summer! OMG!

Wendy Part 2

What a surprise. Going to NYC and back in 36 hours has left me tired and with greasy hair.

Okay, so I got up early Tuesday morning to pump and shower before the car picked me up to take me to The Wendy Williams Show. I am not going to order $20 coffee in the hotel so I popped next door to get one at one of the those little deli places that NY is lousy with. Sadly, this  was one that didn’t have espresso.  And I’m an admitted COFFEE SNOB. I got a cup of what tasted like cardboard steaming hot. I didn’t want to be late so even though I belatedly saw a Starbucks across the street I jumped into the waiting car. Even at the TV Guide Channel they will get coffee for a guest, so I figured I’d be safe.

I had a cute little dressing room waiting for me. Fancy. They had bagels and something in a plastic tub for me. Great, cream cheese. Well, can’t watch my girlish figure when I’m tired. I lathered on a smearful, took a bite and had to spit it out. It was butter. Butter is good, but I need to know it’s coming.

Across the hall in another dressing room I saw a familiar face. I was still pre-coffee, so it took me a minute to realize who it was. Life and Style editor Rachel Zalis. She has been a guest on Fashion Team many times. Hugs when I walked over and I saw that she had a fruit plate and cream cheese.

“You have fruit.” I see how I rate.

“You can have some.” she offered. I’m not proud. I took grapes and some cream cheese. She was doing a segment on spring trends. (I’d skip the hippie prints but,the bright blue and flowers, cute.)

I tried to ask in the kindest least diva way that I really needed a triple espresso. After they decided they liked my pink dress over my orange red dress I was led to D’angelo, make-up artist and all around nice guy. I tried to make small talk but kept thinking of my triple espresso that would soon open up my brain.

“Here you go.” The gal proffered a cup from Dunkin Donuts. Oh, no. Um, thanks. I tasted it. Cardboard with milk.

“No, sorry. I can’t.” D’angelo agreed I needed better coffee.  But, now I was worried it was becoming too much of a drama. A PA was asked, and then a producer, then someone else. I was made up and was a tad worried I would have to go on without my triple espresso, which would make it darn near impossible to have Wendy Williams energy.I stole some more fruit from Rachel Zalis’s room and waited.  Meanwhile the stage manager brought me downstairs to rehearse the show open. On Wendy’s show a guest opens the show. I had my hair up in hair clips and no coffee as I entered the studio of fun. The music was pumping, and the audience was already jumping around as only a NY audience can. There is a reason shows prefer to tape in NY over LA. Because unless you are The Price Is Right, LA audiences are more mellow, jaded, and lackluster. If you have a B or C show (as in all of the shows I’ve ever been host of) you will need to pay your audience. But in the tri-state area, they are excited to be there.

So Martin Short’s doppelganger showed me how he would count me down to say something along the lines of “Hi, I’m Daphne Brogdon of Los Angeles, California and today on Wendy Williams..” (something about the octomom) and some other stuff and then I deliver her signature line “How YOU doing?”  And the emphasis is on the YOU, not the Doing. Then I say, “Here is Wendy!”.

“And she will come out, hug you and you sit down in the front row of the audience and in segment 2 she will ask you about Momversation.” Cool. If I could just get that espresso.

As God as my witness I will never show up to a taping without having pre-coffeed.

I went back up and didn’t hear at first what this new face was saying to me.

“You asked for a triple espresso?”

I nodded.

“There it is.” She point to the cup near my tub of butter.Oh, sweet joy.

I threw it down my throat and felt my brain chemistry align.

Do you ever have a nervous bladder? You are about to walk the door of your house and even though you don’t think you have to pee you get worried that you will be driving or in a subway and you will have to pee so do a prophylactic pee? Well, that’s how I am before taping a live show. Would if I have to pee just as Wendy hugs me?

I’m whisked downstairs to more great contemporary dance hits that I have NO idea who or what performs. I keep asking the young gal next to me. “Who does this song?” Because I notice others seem to know all the words and perhaps they don’t live under a rock like myself. I’m such a mom.


“HI, I’m Daphne Brogdon… and “How YOU doing!” Martin Short gives me the thumbs up. Then:

“Here’s Wendy!!!”

She did hug me.  And in segment two she introduced me and asked me about Momversation. I got a quick plug in for cool mom, and we quickly chatted about the topic of how I hate cute names for privates. She agreed with me, btw.

After my segment was over the producer asked me on the break if I wanted to go back to my dressing room.

“I think I should stay.” I was into it now. Sitting with my new young friends from Jersey or wherever, clapping to the music. The one thing that throws me though is the audience had all been briefed on when to jump up and to follow the stage directors cues. Applause, stand up, sit down. Not only am I more use to being on stage then the audience I’m also from LA, which means I’m mellow, jaded, and lackluster. Martin Short had to shoot me a look a couple times as if to say, “Get up.”

But it’s a fun show, and it went by quickly.

Afterwards I cooled my heels in “my room;” it had my name on it. I was waiting for Wendy to do her promos and then I was going to break out the flip and do a little cool mom vid with her.

Me: “OMG, I’m in Wendy Williams dressing room!” I had to bring the tri-state energy. She is very warm, and we had a nice little chat that I will play soon. She was forthcoming about the challenges of when she was a new mom and being a working mom. She was very interested in the world of mom blogging and wanted to know more about it. I was thinking, frig mom blogging, you have your own syndicated show. But think she got how it’s a nice support for the regular gal.

I jumped back into my jeans and cabbed down to meet my stepdaughter Vanessa. She always knows the cool places to go in NYC. We ate at the Breslin in the Ace hotel. Loved seeing her. She went off to work and I did do retail therapy. I wanted to buy everything in Kate Spade, but way too spendy. Got two blouses. One at Intermix, not cheap, and H&M, cheap. I hoofed it back to the Ace where I had boarded my bag and had one thing to do before I got in my waiting car. In the Ace they have a great coffee bar. I didn’t want to get on my 6 hour flight without pre-coffeeing.  Dang, it was good.

Happy Birthday to Me!

I have never been away from home on my bday. But since the opportunity came up to be on The Wendy Williams Show, and it worked fine with Mark’ s schedule, I figured, what fun! The other thing I’m missing by being here is my Aunt Marcella’s funeral. She is my mom’s older sister and only sibling. She passed last Saturday. Heart attack, stroke, and went fast. She was my last aunt and the one I was closest to. She lived close to where I went to college so sometimes when I was homesick I would go and stay the weekend at her house. Her voice and intonation were so like my mom I felt comforted in her presence. She was devoutly catholic and had 7 kids in 8 years. I wish she had seen the world more, but in her whole life she never got on an airplane. I had hoped her service would be this past weekend, but it was Monday, my bday, the day I was going to nyc. My cousin mary said, “She would want you to go to new york.” I know this is true.

So, while it’s always hard to leave my babies I did enjoy watching movies on the cramped flight. The Blind Side, good, American film. No shading or nuance to the characters, but engrossing. And Men Who Stare at Goats with George Clooney and Jeff Bridges. Why didn’t I know about this one? So funny.

After trying three different rooms at the W Time Square (first two were noisy) I walked 27 blocks to meet my friend for dinner. My friend Christine was one of my producer’s on Perfect Partner, a show I hosted on Discovery 2002 – 2003. Another producer from the same show and a dear friend Brian showed up for a few minutes as well. You know friends who you don’t see for a year, and it’s like no time has passed? They are those type of friends. We had a lot at Cookshop in Chelsea. All good, but not as good as my husband’s restaurants!

We settled a few life issues and got a little buzzed. Christine treated me, which was far too generous. Then we walked in the rain to the subway. When she had to transfer trains at time square and I had a few blocks to walk to my hotel I felt a little sad for the first time. It was my birthday, and I wasn’t with my kids or husband. It is also the first birthday I can think of where my dad hasn’t called me, but he doesn’t know how to use a phone anymore. He probably doesn’t know what day it is. This makes me very sad.

As I walked up the street, glad I had worn my long parka with a hood, the rain blanketed all. I walked briskly, but not in a panic. I didn’t need an umbrella. It felt good. I am walking in Manhattan in the rain. I am alive. I am feeling things. I am lucky.

Perpetual Fashion Critique

Look, here’s the first event we have gotten dolled up for together in a long, long time. The Poop (what a great name) had a pithy little posting about taking fashion critique shows and turning them on moms and dads. Since I do host a show where we rip on celeb fashion, I so relate. Yes, I too am often in my mommy track suit, but when it’s time to dress up, sharpen the fangs.

Daphne and Mark in NYC

I recently realized what an occupational hazard I have with this. I can’t turn off the Fashion Team brain. I am also in Star Magazine every week doing the jokes for Worst of the Week, so it’s like I can’t turn ever turn it off. Yes, I can be snarky, but I love when someone looks great.

My husband Mark Peel’s restaurant, Campanile, was recently nominated for Best Restaurant in the country for the James Beard Awards (the Oscars of dining). He lost to Gramercy Tavern, though he did win it in 2001.

Mark was fine with losing this year, and I was fine because it brought us to New York and allowed me to get dressed up with my husband. He spends five nights a week in chef’s white while I toil in my track suit, so good times. At these food events, Mark has plenty of old friends and such that he wants to talk with.  I want the free wine and food that goes with it. So I have learned to bring my best gay friend Michael with me. He is the perfect date. Mark likes him too, since then I am not saying, “Can we leave?”

Michael is fab and works in fashion so needless to say, we had a constant fashion critique going. Food people are not the toniest types, so there were some errors. Flips-flops at black tie event at the Lincoln Center, really? Two women thought that was okay. Then there are the re-used prom dresses. And, I’m sorry, but the bubble skirts need to stop.

But this year, people looked a lot better than when I went to the Beard awards in 2004, when I swear I saw nail art. There are also those who don’t have the figure of a model or the budget of one, but clearly made an effort, so good for them. By the way, Kim Cattrall co-hosted the event with Bobby Flay, and she looks great and committed like a pro to all the banal banter she was forced to say.

Now, there were about three women who we really thought looked great. And we made a point of rushing over to them and telling them, which always makes someone feel good. The last lady we championed ended up being the wife of the chef of Quince, a restaurant in San Francisco that I have heard nothing but good things about and wanna go to when I have my 36 hours of child free time in SF in August.

At midnight as the security guards were yelling, “Go home, this event is over,” to us and the other stragglers (I mentioned there was free food and drinks, right?), a sweet young man came up to me and said, “I noticed your dress earlier and I wanted to tell you how much I love it.” That made my night. He was a cooking student who was volunteering, and when I told him about Mark, he got so excited. He had written a paper about him, so I introduced them. And it proved we aren’t the only ones sizing up everybody’s fashion.

Even Fun Makes Me Tired

Here is Vivien in a dress that hasn’t been worn since the ’60s, as we were walking to dinner in Chelsea last Friday night. My brother-in-law Mark’s sister was in some kiddie beauty pageants and would get dresses as prizes. One dress was presented to her by none other than the girl who played Buffy on “Family Affair.”

Vivien in NYC

When I go to NYC, I always love it. The excitement, the energy… to a point. I have about 6 or 8 friends I really like to see out there, so even trying to see a few of them takes up some time and it’s stimulating catching up. Plus, I am often doing press for whatever TV show I’m on at the time–which is fun. This trip, most of my press calls were for Cool Mom. Also, I usually do a 48-hour child-free trip… yeah, I’m free and not gone so long I feel guilty.

This trip, I had 36 hours solo and then Mark and Vivien arrived. By the third night, I started to slow down. Mark went bar hopping with friends as Vivien and I met up with a friend at a nice restaurant, walking distance from where we were staying. (Sidebar: instead of a crazy-expensive hotel room we were lucky to be in a two bedroom apartment in Chelsea of friends who were out of town. The best.)

As we walked to dinner, Vivien said, “Mommy,” pointing to the sidewalk, “This is dirty.” I’m sure she was wondering, “When is the clean-up time?”

Um, that was Giuliani, I guess, and he only got so much done. I still saw not one but two gentlemen brazenly peeing on the street. And mind you, not homeless guys with shopping carts, but people who probably had an option.

Sadly, I figured out why I am still dragging even now that we have been back home for a bit. 1) I’m not a spring chicken and 2) I have to exercise. It does help my energy level. But if I don’t do it before 9 am, forget it. I like the recreational exercise of being home, not that constant walking-in-shoes-that-hurt NYC thing. It makes me so tired.

Travel You Pay For

Not in the money sense but in the exhaustion, dirty house, cranky child way.

We got back to LA from NYC late last night. God, was I glad to leave. Love NYC, but when the urine on the street mixes with a heat wave, the smell fills your nostrils and makes you wonder why people pay so much in rent to live there. (More later on plane travel with a toddler. Oy vey.)

I got up early for work today and was looking forward to that nap with Vivien. Prior to her nap she was in a fit state I have rarely seen. As I was trying to deal with her, my stepson was watching TV and I thought, hmm, no wonder he rarely brings friends over here. You know when your kid is really wound up and you can’t figure out why? Except for the fact that her time clock is off? And there it is, yes, snot out of the nose; Viv has a little cold. It made me stay calmer. I didn’t lose my cool.

Finally got her to sleep and I drifted off to sleep for a few glorious minutes. Then the phone rang. Twice. I understand murder.