Nicole Sullivan

Hey, I finally got the rest of the vids edited that I shot at that event from a few weeks ago, when I spoke to Busy Phillips.  Here I speak with Nicole Sullivan, most well known as the funny lady from her stint on Mad TV. I met her at an improv festival back in the 90’s.  She was dating a friend of mine and people were whispering, “She just got cast on a new TV show, Mad TV”  aka, she hit the big time.  I think she was ready to move on from her date as well, at least that’s the vibe I got.

Anyway, I reminded her of our meeting like 15 years ago and interviewed her for the Fashion Team.  She is probably in an ad on this site right now as she has lost the baby weight from her second baby on Jenny Craig. I asked her about that and she said it helped her with portion control.

She is a very nice person and though it’s noisy, and the lights were going in and out back stage before the fashion show I think it’s a cute interview.  Moms, improv and chuckles.

Busy Philipps

I first noticed Busy as the wild single side kick to Courteney Cox on “Cougar Town”. Pretty and funny, I did not know that she is also a mom.  I was at a fundraiser for Joyful heart, Mariska Hargitay’s charity to help empower abused women. Sidebar, those heavy scripts she has to play on “Law and Order:SVU” (so heavy I can’t watch them) inspired her to start this organization.  So, they had a fashion show where TV actresses modeled vintage dresses with modern updates.  They all looked great. “The Fashion Team” was there for a story and I, ever the sneak, kept pulling out my little camera and taping stuff for Cool Mom. This is the first of three vids from the event.

By the way, Busy says that Courteney is honest about working on keeping her insane figure. “She hasn’t had a carb in 20 years.”  I so prefer that story then the “I eat burritos, and I have a fast metabolism” blather, which makes me want to shove an eclair in their face. No carbs for 20 years? Wow, that’s tough. But, then she is a millionaire, so there is that.

Busy is more charming, pretty and fun even than on her show. The sound is a little challenging. Oh, and it was provident that I ran into her because the night before my friend Heather (a fab, single gal) had gotten the “let’s just be friends” blather from a guy who seemed promising. She loves Busy, so I start it off with a shout out to her.

Hannah Montana

Yes, as a matter of fact I am the best aunt. At least I am pretty sure what my 8-year-old niece Lily thinks. Through friends who are in the biz, I scored two tickets to see an episode of Hannah Montana taped the other week.

What was it like? I just got the feeling back in my thighs. Yes, you do sit a while. Production takes a while. Several takes. Repositioning cameras, etc.

I will say that every one was very nice. The warm-up guy kept us as entertained as one could be by peppering us with trivia questions. Most of which my niece knew. And they served us pizza. Which I wolfed down like it was the first food I had seen in hours.

Oh, it was.

I would have been texting or reading stuff on my blackberry but engaging on your cell phone is verboten. I even knew the security guard, but she was looking just as sharply at me as everyone else. I finally asked permission to check on my kids. Okay, if I walked out of the audience area. I would guess they don’t want any plot twists leaked to the public. You know, like “Lost.”

Some of the cast came and spoke to us which was a huge thrill for Lily. I don’t allow Vivien to watch the show, so apart from Billy Ray Cyrus they were all new to me. Which was probably good because then I was more charmed by the corny jokes and the bits.

“Hey, the kid who plays her brother is a funny actor.”

Near the end it was all worth it. When who climbed up into the audience to take a few questions but


I was screaming right with the 8 year olds. She is a nice girl. She seems to have a good head on her shoulders. Obviously more mature than I am now, let alone at 16 (or whatever she is now). She made the little girls very happy.

It was all worth it for me when my niece said it was the best day of her life.

Law and Order

Vivien was a champion nurser. We were a good team. She could latch on anywhere and stay there long enough for me to watch almost an entire Law and Order. I did my part as I took the whole year off to just be her mom. We had no money worries; we lived in a nice place so it was easy to be a nursing mom. I wasn’t having to find a quiet moment in a cubby at work to pump. I was lucky. I just got the phone, the remote, a glass of water and hunkered down with my girl on the couch and watched TV. Sometimes I read, but that was a little trickier.

For some reason for months Law and Order was my favorite nursing show. For one thing it’s always on some cable channel, and I also Tivoed a few of them. I knew Vivien would at least get me to the part where Sam Waterson takes over as the D.A.

So this video is about something that always bugged me about the show. I want to know if you ever noticed this as well.

And by the way, I don’t like the new cast. No charisma. No one cute like Benjamin Bratt or Chris Noth or with the personality of Jerry Orbach. And Special Victims Unit, forget it. It’s always about kids.

Rex is not as hard-core about nursing as Vivien. So, with him I try for a segment on Hardball.


The other day I read this article in the LA Times by their critic about what TV she would watch were it not her job. I agreed with a few and it inspired me to share my faves. ‘Cause I have to say, after a couple years of not much to look forward to other than The Daily Show or Ugly Betty, some 30 Rock or a bit of Mad Men, I’m in love again. There is a reason I walk away from the computer.

Remote Control
Creative Commons License photo credit: skpy

Castle on ABC. I used to love mystery novels so this one about a mystery writer teaming with a cop is my cup of tea. Nathan Fillion, the lead, is also my cup of whatever he wants. Handsome and quippy with topical references. Sigh, he might go on my list. Throw in the sweet relationship with his daughter and his mother, and that’s on my Tivo. Downside, LA is clearly the stand-in for NYC, and for location savvy gal like myself, it looks kind of lame sometimes, but nowhere near as lame as the overly slick CSI franchise (blech).

The Good Wife on CBS. On ER, Juliane Margulies kind of bugged, but not here. On The Good Wife, she is the working mom dealing after life slapped her in the face. For her, the slap was her politician hubby (Chris Noth- Mr Big) involved in a political scandal that exposed his infidelity and landed him in jail. Since I’ve been forging ahead after my “money manager” went to jail I watch with a “you go girl!” enthusiasm.

Modern Family on ABC (Hey, ABC is geared toward a female demo). The pilot was super funny. The rest have been not as funny, but good. Yes, they have the have a skinny woman who looks about 34 with three kids, the oldest being 15 (who looks 20), but other than having to suspend my inner math, I do enjoy this show. The gay couple really make it. When they go to a mommy and me class and feel self-conscious, it struck a blow for all of us who have gone to those classes or groups feeling like all the other moms are friends or who worry where our kids rank developmentally.

The Middle on ABC. Why isn’t this being talked about? The most realistic mom on TV is played by Patricia Heaton. I love that her kids are all losers and her husband really looks like he would be her husband. Her house is messy, and she is always running around between her job and her kid’s school or taking care of elderly relatives. It’s not like The Cosby Show where the parents calmly sat and waited at home to talk to their smart kids. Or In the Motherhood where they all too cute with their jeans tucked in boots. Downside, they always tack on a voiceover with a “but all in all, my life is great.” That undercuts the realness that has transpired for the last 25 minutes. They don’t need to. It’s still a comedy, she still loves her family, we get it, don’t need the forced Pollyana bit.

These can all be watched online as well.

Okay, so that’s what I do after the kids are asleep. How about you?

Balloon Boy

There are those moments that people always remember where they were when they heard the news, Pearl Harbor, JFK assassination, 9/11. Then there is the next level that most people remember, for me one of those would be when John Lennon was killed. Even the recent death of Michael Jackson was a little moment, a “no kidding!”

And with a 24-hour news cycle always on high alert sometimes they try to create these moments. The OJ car chase (I will admit I know exactly what I was doing… driving to Menlo Park from San Francisco to see an ex-boyfriend in a community play thinking, “poor guy, no one will be in the theater tonight.”). The media is hoping we will get involved, stay tuned. Will the next one be a big phony baloney one? Rolling my eyes that I made sure not to turn on the news after reading about balloon boy online lest Vivien see it and worry that she too might be carried away, perhaps by a cluster of birthday balloons.

Ugly Betty

The Fashion Team has been having lots of themes lately. Michael Jackson style: I wore a Thriller-like jacket. The Emmy round up show: all good red carpet dish. And this weekend it’s Ugly Betty. The TV Guide Network will be running the encore shows when the new season starts in a couple of weeks.

Ugly Betty is one of my favorite shows and a bout a year and a half ago we had Vanessa Williams on as a guest. I loved her! So, for this show, I channeled my inner Wilhelmina (her sharp-tongued diva), and my extremely good-natured co-host Lawrence Zarian was dressed as her Boy Friday Mark. I really enjoyed this. It was the most acting I’ve done in years (not personifying, which is what hosting is).

My outfit is not my usual garb, but quite fun. Why do i not embrace the belt? It really helped with my posture, and the whole ensemble made me power hungry and wanting to hire and fire and make people fetch.

Anya Sarre, fashion reporter for ET and The Insider was a guest. Nice girl.

When the show was over, I got in my A-line tent dress and went home.

Emmy Party ’09

The only thing better than being on a guest list of a swank Hollywood party is to be someone’s “plus one.” I was lucky enough to be my friend Chris’s plus one to the HBO party. In an age of austerity, this soiree bucked the trend. Honestly, it was refreshing to see something excessive and fun. Moreover, I kept thinking of all the jobs it created. There were at least 4 long buffet tables, three elevated stages, and endless open bars. Some were sponsored by Moet and only poured champagne, which was fine with me.

Many stars were seen, Kevin Bacon (fellow Madoff victim), his wife Kyra Sedgwick looking thin and pretty in pink. Loved Chole Sevingy’s polka dot dress. In the beginning, it was mostly chubby regular folk dressed up who are the workers of the channel, and then later after the show ended, there was an infusion of tiny, thin people. They were the stars.

The day had gotten away from me, and I didn’t get to a salon in time to do my hair. So I thought, my Top Chef Master could do it. There, in the kitchen while he cooked up some mashed potatoes and pork chops, Mark used my flat iron for the first time in his life. And it did help.

I liked my dress but was very excited to wear BORROWED JEWELS. A first for me. On “The Fashion Team,” we were doing a story on a platinum (no, no gold here) jewelery suite. This is a place where stars and stylist for stars can borrow SERIOUS jewels. I sort of couldn’t believe they asked me, a confirmed G-lister, if I wanted to borrow something. I got a Sasha Primak diamond earrings, and a Michael Beaudry diamond bracelet. These were picked out for me by a stylist, Michael O’Connor. He’s a sweet guy who I did a segment with a while back. I held up a roundish pair of earrings at one point, and he said, “No, not with your jaw.” Note, my jaw needs to be slimmed.

When I showed them to my mother she said, “Oh, yeah, the real stuff does sparkle more.” I think they trumped my less-than-stellar ‘do. They are classic and beautiful. I had to return them post haste, but will wear them one more time for my show–when I will look a little cuter– and get a better picture then.

I used to think jewels that cost that much… oh, did I mention they cost… $70,000? Yep. I used to think that was crazy to spend something like that on jewels, but after the Madoff thing I don’t think so anymore. If one has money it might be better to have something tangible if the s– hits the fan. Better than a worthless financial statement and much prettier. I walked a bit taller at the party with them, but also checked them every 4 seconds. Didn’t want them to go the way of so many pairs of sunglasses… or boyfriends. Now where did I put that?

The place was massive; they had taken over the parking lot of the Pacific Design Center. It was all done up in deep reds and black. I’m sure it cost several hundred thousand dollars. And fun to see Jessica Lange sit down at a table a foot from me with her recently acquired Emmy in hand. (Sidebar, think she’s had a tad too much done to the face. But can’t blame a girl for trying!) But my breast were going to explode, and my feet were hurting.

As we waited for our car at valet who glides out but my old pool party buddy Jon Hamm. I could have said, “Hi, remember me? The thick-waisted mom?” but I didn’t have a chance. You see, he didn’t have to wait for a car on a folding chair like I did. His appeared, and he left.

Was praying Rex would go easy on me, and he did. He woke up at 2 and went right back to sleep. Phew. Then he was rarin’ to go at 6am. Not ideal, but I have had worse nights. And after an A-list party I really wasn’t up for some protracted sleep training night.

Oh, by the way, did anyone watch the show? I didn’t, I was eating the free food!

Top Chef Judge

Tonight’s the night!  Where Rex’s dad is a judge on Top Chef (Wednesday, September 2nd). His appearance on Top Chef (not the Masters, different show) came at a provident time for us. April 30th we were loading out the last our possessions from the dream home where we had to sell. And May 1st we were being flown to Las Vegas so Mark could do the show. We were put up in a suite on the outskirts of town, but it was sweet to be sure. I left the kids for 22 hours and had such a great time. Here is where we stayed. It was actually prettier in person and wasn’t chock a block with white trash in the pool the way Vegas can be. We drank, had naked time, got massages in the beautiful spa, and saw a show. What parents away will do. The next morning MP filmed his first bit with Padma. I was a good wifeager and asked them to promote his book, which they kindly did. Then I had to get home to see my babies.

I honestly think that trip really helped me from getting the blues.

MP shot there a couple more days and had a great time. So, it will be fun to watch it.

Wow, seems like so long ago.

Mrs. Top Chef: Masters

Okay, so for you Top Chef fans, for which there seems to be a considerable amount, this Wednesday is the start of Top Chef: Masters where, instead of lowly rubes trying to win the prize, established chefs compete to be the Top, Top Chef. Well, my sweet husband Mark Peel is one of them. He taped it a couple of months ago. A long grueling production day from what he said.

Scary chef
Creative Commons License photo credit: kevingessner

“We had to sit around and wait forever; it was so boring.” That’s production work for you. He is used to the go-go of restaurant work. I think he enjoyed some of the game of the show. He couldn’t tell me much, or they come and find you!

I’m happy he is going to be on the show. Each week, it’s a different foursome. I don’t think he will be on this week; his is in a few weeks. These “master” chefs don’t compete for money; they compete for charity. Apparently no one told the producers that unless you are Wolfgang Puck, a chef doesn’t make that much money. Mark’s charity was Doctors Without Borders.

What I’m even happier about is that Bravo is having a premiere party at Campanile. There will be some press, lots of chefs, supposedly some celebs, which means I am getting my hair done! And it means I have to find something to wear. My one ace in the hole fab dress I can’t wear a bra with, and at this point in my son’s life, that is NOT an option.

If it’s a good party I’ll blog about it on Thursday.  If it’s not, I’ll just show you what dress I wore.