Thursday, April 23, 2009

settle down

Stacey Handel wanted to go even further when she gave me a makeover two years ago. After a long conversation with my wife and me, she discovered how much of a change we could tolerate at the time. On Tuesday night at the dress rehearsal for "Star 102.1's Dancing with the Knoxville Stars." she pulled my wife aside for another discussion.

In the time since my makeover, I have been returning to Garde Bien Spa Salon every month for a haircut. During one of those sessions, Stacey told me about the new line of body art she was about to start offering to her female clients. Think of beads that stick to the skin and stay there for a week or so. The same product was soon to debut on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." I asked Stacey if she wanted to get involved in our Knoxville version of the show. Before long, she had signed on to do the hair and makeup of all the participants.

Because I trust Stacey and because I am already so far out of my comfort zone with the whole dancing thing, I told her to "go for it" when I arrived for my appointment on Wednesday. She got right to work, dyeing my hair and trimming my beard. While the color set, I walked across the parking lot to Walgreens and bought a razor and some shaving cream. Diana from Garde Bien came with me and took pictures. With the dye on my face, I thought I looked like a cartoon character, if not Azamat Jr.

From Garde Bien, it was off to Sun Tan City to get some color on the cheeks that haven't seen daylight since I was in college. The finished product will be unveiled tonight at Academy Ballroom. Tomorrow I start regrowing the beard for some upcoming "Fish Bait" reshoots.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

tax deductible

Next Thursday's "Dancing with the Knoxville Stars" event requires more preparation than just dance lessons. Today my partner and I went to Walker's Formal Wear to order a tuxedo and then to A Joyous Occasion for Emily to try on dresses.

Next week it's back to Garde Bien Spa Salon for a touch up to my makeover. Like two years ago, the paintbrush will be involved. I also plan to get a couple of VersaSpa treatments at Sun Tan City. Plus I'll be on the dance floor every day from Sunday to Thursday. That includes three lessons, a dress rehearsal and the performance.

Thanks to those who've contributed since my last appeal for donations to Children's Hospital: Karen Lively (from the Young-Williams Animal Shelter); Connie and Dr. Jim Brace (from the UT College of Veterinary Medicine) and Jackie and Charlie Goodreau (from Comcast Cable). I met Jackie and Charlie on Tuesday night when they came to see Einstein Simplified with my dance partner Emily and her professional partner Jeremy Norris.

With only a week to go, the push is on for more donations. Cassie Kiestler helped the cause by posting a blog entry about the contest. Can you contribute even a small amount?

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

not a big Limp Bizkit fan

Over the years we've been married, my wife Jere has rarely been happy with her haircuts. All that changed last year when she and I got makeovers from Stacey Handel at Garde Bien Spa Salon. Yesterday, Jere went in to the salon with confidence that whatever Stacey did to her hair would be great. Stacey was excited that my wife, who had let her hair grow long, wanted to go short.

I think the impetus for this came a while back when Jere and I had dinner at Regas with Stacey and her husband. We went out to celebrate together because we happen to have the same wedding anniversary. The ladies thought it would be the perfect opportunity to look at each other's wedding photos, which started giving Stacey ideas for Jere's next haircut. Needless to say, my wife's hair looks fantastic. She kept asking me if I really liked it until I reminded her that she had short hair when we met and when we got married.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

sure as heckfire

This is an actual conversation that took place while waiting for the light to change at the intersection of Walnut Street and Summit Hill Drive tonight. My son and I were driving home from the Dogwood Arts Festival Parade. I looked out the window at the driver in the next lane and said:
"Phil! Phil Williams..."


"It's Frank... Frank Murphy."

"I didn't even remember recognize you! Who's driving your car?"

"That's my son."

"He's not supposed to be that old."
I'll admit I was a little surprised, even if there is a logical explanation. By the way, my parade coverage is postponed until tomorrow. I need to sleep.

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

hand in, handout

There are plenty of hair salons for women. Since my makeover, I get my hair cut at such a place every month. There's at least one local salon just for children. Mike Huff, the co-owner of Kidz Fun Kutz is now opening a hair salon for men, admittedly inspired by Hooters. He has taken some heat in the blogosphere for hiring only pretty women. In my opinion, the all-female staff members who I see at Garde Bien are just as attractive as the women at Gentlemen's Top Cuts.

Mike said that he chose a location on Middlebrook Pike because the rent was more affordable than on Kingston Pike. The site has a high traffic count and is not far from Knoxville's population center at Cedar Bluff. Gentlemen's Top Cuts will be the first business to open in a mini-mall that will also be home to Nixon's Deli, a nail salon and Domino's Pizza. A fifth storefront is still available.

With the salon due to open Wednesday, there's still lots of work to be done. Yet construction was temporarily halted so some bloggers could get a preview of the services to be offered. I was invited because of a post I wrote back in December. The guys who write SayUncle, Modern Redneck and Reality Me were also there. Publicist Zane Hagy told me that he is having great success getting bloggers to spread the word about his various clients.

Doug of Reality Me preceded me by several years as a member of Einstein Simplified. Today he channeled Steve Carell in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" as he had some personal waxing done. He made sure we could all hear him scream although I suspect it may have been exaggerated for our benefit.

Like the other bloggers, I was offered a free haircut. I declined because I already have an appointment at Garde Bien scheduled for next week and because I didn't want to cheat on Stacey, my regular stylist. Zane said that my son could take advantage of the freebie instead. While Carrie cut my son's hair, I got a manicure from Michele. She cut my fingernails and then had me dip my hands in hot paraffin. After that she bagged my hands like evidence and told me to wait a few minutes. When Michele peeled off the wax, I could only think of Dr. Bill Bass. He had described the process of degloving in our interview about the book "Flesh and Bone." The skin sloughs off the hands of a corpse. It can later be retrieved, mixed with water and Downy and used to get the fingerprints of the deceased.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

eyes are smiling

The annual Women Today Expo happens this weekend at the Knoxville Convention Center. Wow. That means it has already been a year since my wife and I showed off our makeovers in the fashion show at that event. To promote this year's expo, the News Sentinel has a slideshow on their website. Look for me in photos 8 through 13. Those are the ladies from Garde Bien Spa Salon fussing over me in the first few pictures.

I think more than a few people will show up this weekend expecting to go to the Food City Food Show, which had been a part of the Women Today Expo for years. The line to get in to the Food Show was always so long, it made me think that more people came to it than to the main event. The Food Show's popularity has allowed it to be spun off into a separate event to be held in September. I guess that means Chef Walter has this weekend off for a change.

Food City sponsors Chef Walter's daily cooking segment on WVLT. Today he made an Irish Soda Bread that looked spectacular. It made me want a piece of my mother's soda bread, slathered in butter. I called Mom today to tell her about it and to ask if she would mind me putting the family recipe on my blog. Here it is, in time for the early celebration of St. Patrick's Day in some Catholic dioceses around the world.
My Great-Grandmother's Irish Soda Bread
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1 cup of raisins
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 to 3 cups buttermilk
Mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut in butter, dough becomes like pebbles. Coat caraway seeds and raisins with flour and add to mix.

Mix baking soda into 1 cup of buttermilk. Slowly add to flour mix, a little at a time. Continue adding buttermilk slowly, until the dough is moist and forms a ball (or pulls away from bowl). The amount of buttermilk needed depends on the weather.

Put a tablespoon of flour on a board and coat hands with flour. Knead dough a little and shape it into a loaf. Cut an X into the top.

Bake in two greased and floured 8 inch pans (or as one loaf on a cookie sheet) at 375° for 45 to 50 minutes, again depending on the weather. Test with a cake tester. Cool on a rack. Enjoy.

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

shave and a haircut, two bits

A couple of new mini shopping centers on Middlebrook Pike are nearing completion. Snap Fitness Club will go in to one that is still under construction near the Pilot with the new, smaller sign. Nixon's Deli will be in the other one, which I wrote about in July. Nixon's neighbor will be Gentlemen's Top Cuts. I have seen their huge billboard along I-40 while driving back from Farragut. They promise to hire stylists who will wear "eye-pleasing outfits."

I started going to barber shops with only female barbers when I moved to California. Shear Pleasure in Toluca Lake catered to several older Hollywood types like Jonathan Winters and honorary mayor Johnny Grant. The matronly stylists always offered customers a soda from the mini-fridge. During the Christmas season, they often had the hard stuff available too. I moved to Tennessee and soon found Mr. George's, which I liked because the haircuts were only $6 at the time. Now they charge $7. Mr. George was the only man who worked there. He had some health issues and his all-female staff has taken over. They dress in normal barber attire. Mr. George's is literally just around the corner from the spot where Gentlemen's Top Cuts will be. Since my makeover, I've been going back to Stacey Handel at Garde Bien every month for a haircut. In fact, I'm scheduled for one on Wednesday.

The prices at Gentlemen's Top Cuts are steep. Who will pay $100 for the "King Treatment?" A $20 regular haircut there is called the "Wimpy Cut." Is it named after Popeye's friend? Probably not. The "Top Cut" will be $45 and will include a neck massage and a shampoo to wash away all those annoying little hairs. The neck massage was also a feature at Shear Pleasure. It was okay but what has really spoiled me are the post-haircut shampoos at Garde Bien. I no longer have to wear my "special haircut shirt," which has an eyeball bending black and white design that would hide both the dark and the not-so-dark hairs that fell on my shoulders.

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

stampede of dollars

The local chapter of the March of Dimes asked me to be a spotter for the Signature Chefs Auction tonight. I pointed out bidders in the crowd to auctioneer Robbie Franklin. The food at the event reminded me of Feast with the Beasts except more civilized. Several top restaurants served their best fare in a ballroom at the Knoxville Convention Center. Unlike the event at the zoo, everyone in the crowd was dressed up and the delicacies were served on china plates.

As much as I wanted to sample every dish being offered, I don't think it would have been physically possible even with the small portion sizes. Nama took first prize for their delicious seared tuna roll. I also liked the braised veal cheek from Northshore Brasserie and the pumpkin cheesecake served with gingersnaps in a champagne glass from Hunter's Bakery & Cafe.

A number of local celebrities were in attendance. I had a chance to converse with many of them. John Becker was the emcee for the evening. He and I mostly talked about our mutual friend Fr. Ragan Schriver. John and I recently did some volunteer work on a project for Catholic Charities of East Tennessee. I told John that I believe that Fr. Ragan could be a superstar on the national charitable scene if he wanted to. After all, he already has TV experience as a contestant on "Warehouse Warriors."

Kay Watson was sitting at the WBIR table. When I said hi to Kay tonight, I told her that we had once met at Dollywood. She responded by saying, "oh yeah, you were sitting behind us." By doing so, she as much as acknowledged that she has seen the picture of the back of her head that I posted here last summer. I mentioned the photo and she confirmed that she had heard about it and then looked at it online. Fortunately for me, she saw the humor in it.

Chef Walter Lambert was still on a high from meeting Betty White, who was in town on Friday. After her live interview with Stacy McCloud, Betty was ushered onto Chef Walter's kitchen set to taste his bran muffins.

Maestro Lucas Richman listened patiently as I requested he schedule a program of classical music that we would recognize from cartoons. His lovely wife Debbie remembered meeting me on the Knoxville Symphony's recent Blogger Night.

Diana Morgan, the recently retired host of the Scholars' Bowl on East Tennessee Public Television, talked to me about the value of participating in academic competitions when it comes to filling out college applications.

Scott Branscom from " Weekly" was stunned by my appearance. Aside from the weight loss and makeover, the fact that I was wearing a suit and tie tonight made the difference from the last time he saw me all the more noticeable. Scott was one of the master carpenters on "Warehouse Warriors" when I was a guest judge on the show about four years ago. Coincidentally, the episode I did will be repeated this Thursday at 5:00 a.m. Set your TiVo.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007


The next time he comes to your town, go see comedian Pat Godwin. My wife and I just got home from The Comedy Zone where Pat has been headlining all week. He uses his guitar throughout the entire show, parodying famous rock stars, singing some original music and making up songs about audience members. His impression of Bono singing "Bingo" is especially funny.

Paul Simmons and I had a chance to talk with Pat before the show. I told him that I remembered meeting him seven and a half years ago at the inception of the Comedy World Radio Network. Pat was part of the ensemble on Craig Shoemaker's show. We agreed that Comedy World was several years ahead of the curve with its live audio and video streaming on the Internet. We started talking about some of the other staff members and Pat asked if I knew whatever happened to a guy who worked on one of the other shows but had filled in as producer on Shoemaker's show for a couple of weeks. Pat recalled that this guy had radio experience, unlike most of the other employees at the network. I told Pat that the guy he was thinking of was me. He couldn't believe it. He looked right at me and said, "you must have lost 50 pounds!" I explained that not only had I lost the weight but that I also had Lasik surgery and a makeover.

Now all I have to do is look to see if we still have any of the hand repair lotion that my wife used to be able to find at Bath & Body Works. The skin on my hands is cracked from applauding so hard at Pat Godwin's show.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

sweet teeth

The staff at Garde Bien offered me a cupcake when I arrived for my haircut today. They were celebrating the birthdays of an employee and of a favorite customer, Carol Bass. I first met Mrs. Bass at the salon on the day of my makeover. After I finished my cupcake, I realized that I had forgotten to try eating it sandwich style. Cupcakes are an infrequent treat. I'll try to remember to put the icing in the middle next time.

Today's newspaper had a recipe for a different sandwich style treat. The Mint Chip Monster is made by splitting a chocolate snack cake and putting ice cream in the middle. Kids can decorate it to look like a monster. The idea for a fun food is reminiscent of the hamburger cookies I saw at a swim meet last year.

I briefly flipped past the AFI special on CBS tonight. They were up to the movie "Nashville" in their countdown of the top 100 films. In the clip, I heard a reference to the Grand Ole Opry, sponsored by Goo Goo Clusters. It got me wondering if the candies got their name from the initials of the Opry. They didn't. The Goo Goo website points out that the candies have been around 13 years longer than the Opry.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

print model

Each month Garde Bien Spa Salon runs an ad in Skirt! Magazine. Because the publication is targeted to women, the salon usually runs before and after photos of a female makeover recipient.

To coincide with Father's Day, Garde Bien used a picture of a man in this month's ad. As I warned you last month, the man is me.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

short cuts

Stacey from Garde Bien Spa Salon cut my hair again today. I've been going there once a month since my makeover. Stacey is going to use my before and after photos in her ad in next month's Skirt! Magazine. She's thinking that some of the magazine's readers will bring in their husbands for Father's Day haircuts.

I watched the season finale of "Lost" in real time and skimmed through "American Idol" on the TiVo. From what I saw, it sounded like Carrie and Ruben have the best singing voices of the past winners. Kelly is still the most entertaining to watch. Taylor's facial expressions and haircut make him look like Lurch. He should definitely try out for the Broadway musical version of "The Addams Family."

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Monday, March 26, 2007

the price of fame

$209 plus $23 for shipping and handling. Is a nice souvenir worth that much? Or should I keep saving for that HD DVR I still want? Let me explain.

I got an email today with the subject line "News Sentinel article 03/15/07." It obviously refers to the article about my makeover that was published that day. The email was from a guy in Tampa who said he wanted to talk with me for two minutes about the article. Instead of calling, I looked up his company on the Internet. He works for In The News, Inc., a firm that laminates newspaper and magazine articles and mounts them on plaques. Their website says they have a highly sophisticated sales organization. I would say so. Apparently the News Sentinel is one of the 6,000 publications they receive. They saw the article, and found my work email address. This sentence from their site says it best:
If you are In The News, we know it and we make it our business to offer you our custom lamination service. Our sales staff contacts over 8,000 prospective clients each day and last year we produced over 65,000 custom laminated wall hangings, with approximate gross sales of over 10 million dollars.
I wrote back to the guy asking for a price quote. He replied saying that they wanted to go ahead and make the plaque. As a first time customer, I could return it within ten days if I didn't like it or if I can't come up with the $232. Plus tax probably.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

every action has one

The first thing I saw when I flipped open the newspaper this morning was an extreme close up of dye being applied to my beard. It was one of the images well captured by J. Miles Cary during my salon session last week.

The reactions to today's article have been great. Jimmy Kimmel got me to laugh first thing this morning when I read his email: "I think you looked better going in than out." Someone claiming to be Abby Ham posted a nice comment: "Frank, you look great. Love your new look!" I want to believe it was really her, so don't tell me otherwise.

Jennifer Alexander
is B-97.5's "franchise player." If she were willing to move, she could be working in a much larger market. Jennifer wrote: "I saw your makeover pictures in the paper today. You look incredible! Totally different…but incredible! Just wanted to let you know. Hope you are doing well. I’ll try to get out to see a[n Einstein Simplified] show soon!"

Todd Covert retired from Einstein Simplified a couple of years ago. I still miss performing with him every week. He sent an email when he saw the paper this morning: "Normally, I don't go in for guys, but......!!!!!!! Saw the article in the paper. You look ... 'maaahhrvelous.' Did they give you all that stuff for free?!?!?! Were the chicks all hitting on you?!?!"

Somehow my makeover is forever intertwined with the Body Farm. Jon Jefferson, co-author of the Body Farm novels emailed me to say: "Carol Bass told me awhile back that she'd run into you at the salon as you were completing your metamorphosis, et voila, there you were in the News Sentinel looking tres, tres elegante; Ralph Fiennes sprang to mind. For me, a makeover would require a quart of Bondo, or maybe that face-patching putty the funeral homes use... Enjoy your youthful good looks. And try not to squint as much as I have!"

I stopped to get discounted gas at the Kroger Fuel Center this afternoon. The white haired gentleman washing his windshield at the next pump looked familiar. Even though his back was to me, I knew it had to be Dr. Bill Bass. I walked over to say hi. He was all dressed up in a blue blazer with khaki slacks. His necktie had a pattern of skulls on it. Dr. Bass told me that he was on his way home from speaking to a women's book club at one of the most expensive homes in the area. He said that his wife had enjoyed her conversation with me last week and that they had seen the photos of my makeover in the newspaper this morning. Before saying goodbye, I reminded Dr. Bass that I had asked for a tour of the Body Farm and that he had suggested late March or early April. He pulled a calendar from his pocket and said he'd like me to come to the facility at the same time as the women's book club. He said it would the two of us plus twenty women touring the Body Farm that day.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

note to self: buy extra newspapers

The News Sentinel article about my makeover will appear in the Style section of tomorrow's paper. However the link to the accompanying slideshow is active as of tonight. My segment on today's "Style" show went well. Michele Silva and writer Kevin Cowan asked me about my haircut, beard trim and weight loss. Kevin was kind enough to snap a photo of me with Michele and Moira Kaye. It's quite a change from the 2005 photo of fat me with ultra-tan Michele.

Jimmy Kimmel asked to see some of my makeover pictures. I emailed him yesterday when I saw something on "Access Hollywood" that would definitely qualify as the "unintentional joke of the day"
on his show. See if you can spot the comedy I found in the video clip of Aretha Franklin on the "Access Hollywood" site. When Jimmy wrote back to say he might use the clip tonight, he also asked for my makeover link. When I reply I'll have to mention a joke I delivered on the air this morning about "Tranjaya" who by the way did not get eliminated from "American Idol" tonight.

Speaking of "Idol," I liked the different arrangements that Chris Sligh and Blake Lewis used on their Diana Ross songs last night. I've written before about my interest in cross-genre cover songs and the Coverville podcast. USA Today's Whitney Matheson posted a list of her favorite cover songs this morning. Her list includes the Gary Jules song I've told you about but she likes a different Britney Spears cover than me.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

little turn on the catwalk

Before my wife and I walked the runway at the Women Today Expo this afternoon, we each had our hair styled by the staff of Garde Bien Spa Salon. As predicted, my wife's natural curls returned in time for the fashion show.

We got dressed in the fancy outfits from Dillard's and walked on stage near the end of the show. Image consultant (and dry cleaning expert) Laurie Wilson asked us about our weight loss and our experiences at the salon and the department store.

News Sentinel Style reporter Kevin Cowan told me that his article about my makeover will appear in Thursday's paper. He also asked me to be on his segment of Wednesday's Style show on WBIR-TV. Kevin posed for a photo with Stacey Handel of Garde Bien, my wife and me. By the way, Kevin is the one who wrote the famous article that had all of East Tennessee talking last fall.

The most popular part of the Women Today Expo is the Food City Food Show. My wife and I said hi to Chef Walter as he was on his way to sign copies of his new cookbook. Later my wife introduced herself to Tina Wesson, who was also signing books at the Food Show. When I saw Tina a bit later, she was surprised by my appearance. The last time she saw me, I was a lot heavier. The good people at Food City tempted me to gain some of the weight back with a sheet cake decorated especially for me. Other than Dr. Bass himself, there can't be that many other people who would enjoy a Body Farm cake as much as me.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

the hottie and me

J. Miles Cary, the photographer from the News Sentinel was waiting for me outside the Garde Bien Spa Salon yesterday. He was there to chronicle my mini-makeover for an upcoming photo essay on My wife and I will model outfits in the "It's Real Style, Knoxville" fashion show at 2:00 p.m. Sunday during the Women Today Expo.

As I waked into the salon, there was a woman paying for some products at the counter. She saw the photographer following me and asked, "Are you Mr. Murphy?" I said that I was and she introduced herself as Carol Bass, wife of Dr. Bill Bass. The staff had told her what was going on. She said that Dr. Bass appreciated the interest I showed in his work during our radio interviews. I asked her to congratulate Dr. Bass on his findings in the Big Bopper case and I told her that I had been invited to tour the Body Farm this Spring. She advised me to wear old shoes. At this point J. Miles Cary said that when he photographed Dr. Bass at the Body Farm, the stench permeated his clothing like cigarette smoke. He had to throw away the floor mats from his car after the aroma transferred from his shoes.

With these happy thoughts in my head, I went to the back of the salon for my manicure and haircut. The plan was to give me shorter hair and a more closely cropped beard, despite Cary's repeated suggestions that I shave it completely. When frosted tips were briefly mentioned as a possibility, I was concerned that they were trying to make me look like Ryan Seacrest. As it turns out, the cropped beard makes me look less like Seacrest and more like Ron Rifkin.

When the haircut was finished, I picked up my wife and we went to Dillard's to be fitted for Sunday's fashion show. After that, she spent several hours at Garde Bien getting a new haircut herself. Salon owner Stacey Handel thought it would be fun to straighten my wife's naturally curly hair for one night only. Once it gets near humidity (i.e. the shower), her curls will return. For the sake of comparison, you may want to see my blog entry from last Father's Day. I'm glad I forced myself to wait up even though I was really tired from skipping my daily nap. My wife was pretty tired too when she finally got home around 10:30 last night. I asked our son to snap a quick photo so I can always remember her straight hair look. We'll have to take more photos on Sunday when she has curly hair and full makeup. I'm not a huge fan of my neck beard, so I shaved that part of it off tonight.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

special guest star

There was no time for a nap because of the mini-makeover I received today. I'll fill you in over the next few days as the story appears in the News Sentinel and as my wife and I walk the runway at the Women Today Expo on Sunday afternoon. As it turns out, I do not get to keep the clothes, which makes sense since they are dressing me in an $800 suit. I could buy it at 25% off though. Fat chance of that happening.

I can get by tonight with a little blogging help from my friend Bean. If he had a blog, he would have posted the poem that he found online and emailed to me. It
contains several examples of capitonyms, words that change meaning when capitalized.
A herb store owner, name of Herb,
Moved to a rainier Mount Rainier.
It would have been so nice in Nice,
And even tangier in Tangier.
Blog critics may correctly feel that my posting could use some polish but at least I didn't completely slough off tonight.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

where no man has gone before

In our current radio commercial for LA Weight Loss, my wife teases me about the Star Trek uniform I wore on TV this past Saturday. As you can hear in the spot, the co-hosts of the morning show went to a local TV station for another on-camera segment. The director, John Hudgens, thought it would be funny if one of us put on a costume he had saved from his award winning fan film, "Sith Apprentice." The size of the costume determined that I would be the lucky one.

Looking at that picture, is it any wonder that Terry Morrow of the News Sentinel nominated me for a mini-makeover? The newspaper will document the process as I get fitted for an outfit from Dillard's and a more contemporary haircut from Garde Bien Spa Salon. I hope I get to keep the clothes. The prospect of getting something for free is why I agreed to the makeover in the first place. The "reveal" is supposed to happen at the Women Today Expo. There's a slim chance that WBIR will send a camera to get some footage for their "Style" show, which would be interesting because "Style" co-host Michele Silva is in one of my heaviest "before" pictures from August, 2005.

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