Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Little Political Humor

You Can Hang A Star on That Baby

The Team may suck, but the new Nat's stadium is something to write home about! You can grab a beer and hot dog in any stadium around the country, but dc taxpayers shot around the bases here.

From the gigundous tv to local vendors like Ben's Chili Bowl I actually made the effort to arrive by the third inning! But the crowd has definitely been preppy-fied. No more sweatpants folks ....yuppy central has arrived.

Funny side story, so we hit up the braves game and buying our tickets last minute, we realized a lot of warrior chops. Being the political correct capital of the world, a fellow YUP eagerly corrected our visitors as it may be offensive to native Americans. To which the very large fan immediately below up sprung up mid chop to don his native American dream weaver tattoo to the stands. It may have been the most excitement the Nats fans saw all evening!

Bad Boys Bad Boys

In a city renowned for it's world class museums with zero admission cost, it seems ludicrous to charge at all, let alone $18 bucks to enter the new Crime and Punishment museum in Gallery Place. But for any CSI fans in the crowd, it's worth it!

Things That Go Bump In the Night...Oscars

Thank god for katie! She had the foresight to get tickets to see the DARK NIGHT. At first I rolled my eyes when I heard about this movie...we're going to stand in line to see a marvel comic. I mean who doesn't love the batman movies (esp. with Val as batman) but it's not something I want to drop everything I'm working on to go queue up with every teenaged boy in the area to watch. I can hold out for the DVD.

As the reviews started to come in, the cinimatic talking heads continued to describe it a good but dark. Of course it's dark...he fights crime at midnight. But what they should tell you is this movie has joker written all over it. Batman is a supporting role at best. This is a sadistic peek into the mind of an anarchist, a cool echo of militant extreamism making headlines in the A section rather than the style.

Heath Ledger hits the mark, everyone of them. As the joker, he takes the simplist line (soon to be cliched) "Why so serious" and massages it into a chilling be repeated for generations.....right up there with Hannibal Lector's fava beans.

Best advice- pay the 10 bucks, see the movie....its a worth the roller coaster!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Back to You In the Studio

Mommie - Reporting for 630 WMAL on the Earthquake

CHINO HILLS, Calif. (AP) - An expert at CalTech says yesterday's big shaker in Southern California should be looked at like an earthquake drill.
The magnitude 5.4 quake wasn't the "Big One" scientists have long feared -- but it was strong enough to rattle nerves and get people talking again about emergency plans.

A fire official in Chino Hills, where the quake was centered, says the region was "really fortunate." It caused limited damage and only minor injuries.
Chino Hills was incorporated in 1991, so much of the construction is newer and built to modern safety standards.

Though it rocked Los Angeles and was felt as far away as San Diego and Las Vegas, yesterday's quake was far less powerful than the deadly Northridge earthquake that toppled bridges and buildings in 1994.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Hail to the Buff and Blue

Having graduated from GW, any mention of said hallowed ground sends my heart a fluttering! So when I was tipped off to a recent book our former president Stephen Joel Trachtenberg published I jumped at the chance to read it. We have a word for those types... TOOLS.

I was a bit skeptical, I'll admit. As president he was not the class favorite. But then again, few undergraduates openly professed their love for the university anyway. (Even though secretly they worshiped their Alma matter as much if not more than I did.)

GW has a few urban legends of its own, as the university that ate Foggy Bottom. But here SJT openly addresses all of them candidly... right down to the hippo myth. He explained with great comical detail and heartfelt justification many of the controversial decisions he made as an administrator. This is not only a must read for any GW alum, but should be assigned reading!

With A Clipboard And An Air of Confidence

Politico: Bob Novak's victim

Washington Post: Man Hit by Novak Has Hurt Shoulder but Is 'Doing Fine'

The Examiner: Novak's Victim Speaks! "Bob Novak is the one that hit me?!? ... That makes it a great story!"

TMZ:Novak's Victim: Am I Famous Now?

Associated Press:
Man hit by columnist Robert Novak recovering

WASHINGTON (AP) - The homeless man who was struck by a car driven by syndicated columnist Robert Novak says he's surprised to hear the prominent journalist was the driver who hit him.

Don Clifford Liljenquist asked a reporter from WMAL Radio repeatedly whether Novak was the person who hit him. The 86-year-old seemed amused. He said, "Well I think that makes it a great story!"

Liljenquist says his shoulder was dislocated when he was struck Wednesday. He says doctors reset his shoulder and he's "doing fine."

Witnesses say Novak was driving a Chevrolet Corvette near K Street when he hit a pedestrian who rolled up onto the hood of the car. Novak kept driving until a bicyclist stopped him.
Novak has said he didn't know he hit anyone. He was given a $50 traffic citation.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

This is the song that never ends....yes it goes on and on.........

Delta Goodrem was in the mix studio last week, new to us here in the states but apparently she's a big deal in Australia. But I cannot get enough of this song.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Picture is worth.....

While Grant was visiting I insisted we stop into see the new photograph exhibit at the Corcoran. Magnum Photos and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria teamed up to document artistically the effect of free antiretroviral treatment in third world countries. The Fund was set up to not only address those afflicted by the disease who couldn't afford treatment, but also to slow if not stop the spread of the disease all together.

We arrived at the Access to Life exhibit expecting to wonder through at our leisure but the Media Relations Manager had set up a walk-through with Jonas Bendiksen, a Norwegian photographer with Magnum who chronicled Haiti, and Bill Horrigan, the curator of the exhibit.

The exhibit is actually a conglomerate of 8 separate photographer's work and each were given artistic liberty with how they wanted to showcases it throughout the somewhat narrow gallery.

"The real challenge was fitting everything in," Horrigan told us.

The photographers made two trips both lasting two weeks and separated with three months. Jonas decided to timeline four patients by bookending Polaroids the patients took of themselves with the intimate shots he was able to snap while in Haiti.

Upon closer inspection, some of the Polaroids included handwritten updates to supplement the photos. "Bien, mal" and so forth.

One observation Bendiksen offered was the patients here tended to have a higher survivor rate than those in the US. This was in part due to the drugs being free, but also because the village health professionals were more regimented about administering the drugs regularly.

In fact two of Bendiksen's patients recovered. But not all cases were optimistic. A majority of the exhibitions' subjects chronicled the diseases' powerful effect.

When asked how Jonas was able to cope with the subject matter, he said, "it's hard, you don't stop being human when you pick up a camera."

But he also says, " I love working on stories that get left behind in the race for the daily headlines - journalistic orphans. Often, the most worthwhile and convincing images tend to lurk within the hidden, oblique stories that fly just below the radar."

Flipping Awesome

So I found the perfect gift for goose! For those who don't know, she is quite possibly one of Elvis' biggest fans. On a five week cross country trip in the Bounder (rv) she outfitted the entire music collection with the discography of the king. We could transcribe EVERY song on demand to this day. Well when we made it to Memphis we did the extended tour of Graceland. While Goose wandered, you could see her designing her place in heaven to match this homage to the hip gyrator.

While rifling through a book store recently I stumbled across this 3-D pop-up book of Graceland. It's perfect! With a forward by Priscilla this is no children's book!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Making The Rounds

Yesterday was a busy one! WMAL hosted a meet and greet with morning host Chris Plante at McCormick and Schmicks at the new waterfront in Maryland. This was my first time down since they built up the area. WOW! It's going to be as popular as Alexandria, with all the shops and restaurants, but I digress.

This was my first encounter with the Freepers, or the folks who contribute to They were so much fun! Politics aside, we had a great time! And it's really an eye opener when you get to meet the religious listeners of the station.

After our little happy hour, it was off to hang with the DC Sigmas. A small group of dedicated alumnae are determined to jumpstart a solid alumnae group here in the district. This was the second happy hour we've done and things are looking good!

Party Crashers

"Special Olympics honored longtime supporter, Quincy Jones, at a 75th birthday bash for the Academy Award-winning film composer held on 23 April 2008 at the Kalorama home of Michael Klein and Joan Fabry in Washington, DC.

More than 150 guests including musicians, athletes, members of Congress, US ambassadors, business executives and philanthropic leaders attended the festivities to personally give Quincy their best wishes. The evening's highlights included the reading of a personal message from United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a surprise phone call from the legendary Stevie Wonder, and a surprise visit from former Secretary of State General Colin Powell.

“What an incredible surprise,” said Jones of the phone call by his close friend Stevie Wonder. "
This is no taco shop! For Katie's birthday we took her to Oyamel, rated very highly on the Washingtonian's 100 best restaurants. Among katie's fan club is my foodie soul mate, Jordyn, who is about as adventurous in eating as I am so we sailed through the menu.

Done in tapas style we ordered the chef's recommendations for the evening. This included the Ceviche de cayo (sea scallops) with citrus dressing, Ensalsa de Chayote (mexican squash), Albondigas enchipotladas con queso doble crema (chipotle meatballs), Nopal asasdo con salsa molcajete (cactus paddles in green salsa), and Lengua quisada (cow tongue tacos). The stand out for the evening (aside from the foregone conclusive guacamole) had to be the cactus. The mole was perfectly smokey and addicting. There may or may not have even been a few licks to the plate!

After a few mango margaritas we were proudly proclaiming this our new favorite restaurant.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Take me out to the OPERA

Ugh I love it! Remember I am a 60 year-old in a mid-twenties body! My grandmother used to have season tickets and would take me as her guest. (Usually because I was the only grandchild that got excited about the outings! So opera will always hold a special little spot in my heart, not to mention it's awesome!!

And here in the nations capital we are really fortunate to have a fabulous opera company. Angela and I went to see Cavalleria Rusticana preceded by four orchestral works.

It's a one act tragic love triangle of rustic chivalry (the title translated). Although this performance omitted stage scenery and costumes, replacing the staging with the orchestra instead, the masterful headliners carried the powerful tale with ease.

We were blown away by the performance by Dolora Zajick and Salvatore Licitra, the latter having just performed for the Pope while he was in New York.

I also sang for the Pope while he was here in Washington DC. Ok no singing, but I did get to attend the mass.

A Lady Can be Overdressed.....

In the great words of Coco Chanel, "a woman can be overdressed, never over-elegant." Well leave to Jen Richer to prove her wrong! Having been invited to Zoofari, an annual fundraiseing "dinner" for the National Zoo, I ran home from work to slap on some heels, slip on a dress and although I would probably miss cocktail hour, I was hoping to slip in before the speeches. In typical Wonkette lingo, Fundraising dinner = formal to semiformal sit down complete with toasts, roasts, and place cards.

Ha! Not the case in slightest. For Zoofari, the dress is casual as the guests walk down the mile stretch through the zoo stopping every 10 feet to taste food from local restaurants (most of them 3 and 4 stars) and drink wine from local vinards. Realizing that one of this kids was not like the others, it was back to the trunk to whip up a wardrobe change. Thank god for the flip flops and cardigan in the trunk. 3 minutes and a pony tail later it was back to the trail of gastronomical heaven. By the time we hit the bottom of the red brick road, I told Angela I may need a crane to pull me back up. This of course after dancing with a frog or two. I can't wait for next year!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Crystal City Gets A Face Lift

As residents of the concrete jungle known as Crystal City, Linds and I have been noticing a few upgrades in the way of art.

Similar to the pandas, donkeys and elephants of DC, Crystal City, conveniently located near National Airport is playing up it's airplanes. By far the crowd favorite of chez copa is this little pink Cadillac.

On a walk under the bridge connecting old copa to the metro (18th street), Linds and I ran into the artist responsible for the fun new murals that bring new life to the drab pigeon hangout. After doing a little research I found her blog recording the process.

High Five!

Probably one of the greatest inventions ever, as I can't seem to get enough of it, does anyone really know the origin?

According to Wikipedia: "Many claim the inventors, or at least the popularizers, of the "high five" were Wiley Brown and Derek Smith, who played on the University of Louisville's 1980 National Championship basketball team. Smith and Brown began high fiving during practice, and as Louisville made it's run in the tournament the entire team began to do it in games. The story was recently recounted on ESPN's Sportscenter on July 11th, 2008 during it's "Titletown" segment featuring Louisville."

Anywho... several are well deserved with news like this:


The Washington, DC region’s major News/Talk station, 630 WMAL, was again honored today to receive two prestigious National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Radio Awards nominations. For the second year in a row, The Grandy & Andy Morning Show is a finalist in the category of “Major Market Personality of the Year.” And 630 WMAL is the only AM station in the country to be nominated in the category of “Major Market Station of the Year.”

Monday, July 14, 2008

Copa 3.0

Well folks, after a very long weekend, we have made it across the street to the new copa. The rooms are painted, the boxes are piled in and the champagne has been toasted!

A Damn Shame!

Rest In Peace Tony:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Tony Snow, a conservative writer and commentator who cheerfully sparred with reporters in the White House briefing room during a stint as President Bush's press secretary, died Saturday of colon cancer. He was 53.

"America has lost a devoted public servant and a man of character," President Bush said in a statement from Camp David, where he was spending the weekend. "It was a joy to watch Tony at the podium each day. He brought wit, grace, and a great love of country to his work."
Snow died at 2 a.m. at Georgetown University Hospital, according to former employer Fox News.

Snow, who served as the first host of the television news program "Fox News Sunday" from 1996 to 2003, would later say that in the Bush administration he was enjoying "the most exciting, intellectually aerobic job I'm ever going to have."

Snow was working for Fox News Channel and Fox News Radio when he replaced Scott McClellan as press secretary in May 2006 during a White House shake-up. Unlike McClellan, who came to define caution and bland delivery from the White House podium, Snow was never shy about playing to the cameras.

With a quick-from-the-lip repartee, broadcaster's good looks and a relentlessly bright outlook - if not always a command of the facts - he became a popular figure around the country to the delight of his White House bosses.

He served just 17 months as press secretary, a tenure interrupted by his second bout with cancer. In 2005 doctors had removed his colon and he began six months of chemotherapy. In March 2007 a cancerous growth was removed from his abdominal area and he spent five weeks recuperating before returning to the White House.

"All of us here at the White House will miss Tony, as will the millions of Americans he inspired with his brave struggle against cancer," Bush said.

Snow resigned as Bush's chief spokesman last September, citing not his health but a need to earn more than the $168,000 a year he was paid in the government post. In April, he joined CNN as a commentator.

As press secretary, Snow brought partisan zeal and the skills of a seasoned performer to the task of explaining and defending the president's policies. During daily briefings, he challenged reporters, scolded them and questioned their motives as if he were starring in a TV show broadcast live from the West Wing.

Critics suggested that Snow was turning the traditionally informational daily briefing into a personality-driven media event short on facts and long on confrontation. He was the first press secretary, by his own accounting, to travel the country raising money for Republican candidates.
Although a star in conservative politics, as a commentator he had not always been on the president's side. He once called Bush "something of an embarrassment" in conservative circles and criticized what he called Bush's "lackluster" domestic policy.

Most of Snow's career in journalism involved expressing his conservative views. After earning a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Davidson College in North Carolina in 1977 and studying economics and philosophy at the University of Chicago, he wrote editorials for The Greensboro (N.C.) Record, and The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk.

He was the editorial page editor of The Newport News (Va.) Daily Press and deputy editorial page editor of The Detroit News before moving to Washington in 1987 to become editorial page editor of The Washington Times.

Snow left journalism in 1991 to join the administration of the first President Bush as director of speechwriting and deputy assistant to the president for media affairs. He then rejoined the news media to write nationally syndicated columns for The Detroit News and USA Today during much of the Clinton administration.

Roger Ailes, chairman of Fox News, called Snow a "renaissance man."

Robert Anthony Snow was born June 1, 1955, in Berea, Ky., and spent his childhood in the Cincinnati area. Survivors include his wife, Jill Ellen Walker, whom he married in 1987, and three children.

Associated Press writer Jennifer Loven contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Celebrating Independence

The ladies of Chez Copa hit the old dusty trail last weekend to celebrate Independence Day in North Carolina with Katie's Sis! Not only can I cross off another state from my to visit pile, but we had a blast!

Day One:

Jamming along to the PURE GOLD play list linds assembled we made it to Cape Cartaret in record time! Spread out in the back seat of Lucy (yes my foot was elevated Jerry) I was appointed ambassador of the road. Like a kindergartner in a station wagon I waved at everyone who made eye contact!

Pulling up to the gorgeous house I was greeted by the other gimp (Katie's Dad) and we hobbled the rest of the weekend in unison!

Day two:
After stuffing ourselves with All-American Grub including Jeff's world famous b-b-q (ok maybe not WORLD famous but it was pretty good) we headed onto Emerald Isle to secure our fireworks viewing spot. A co-worker of Jeff's lives practically on shore. But nothing is every a straight shot with chez-copa.

When we arrived, we noticed a few things out of place, like the 5 police suvs parked outside the house. Pulling up in our 4x dodge ram complete with beer cooler in the bed, the officers were so gracious as to leave their search of the property and properly greet us by encircling the truck while the neighbors laughed from their porch.

Probably not the most natural reaction but while Linds froze, Katie giggled anticipating a hoax. My first response was to speak to the PIO and find out if there was a story. The backpack reporter on the scene beat me to it.

Just as our host emerged from an adjacent home, we were released and made our way up to continue our own investigation of the scene.

Not wanting to be left out, we all actively participated in the the police search. For example, during a later arrest of the perpetrator, his drivers licence fell out of his car. While Katie eagerly snapped shots ( for later reporting purposes of course), we called down from the house to the officer. Just think, we may single-handily saved a CRUCIAL piece of evidence. Right? Never mind those officers who have been investigating these hardened criminals (petty theft, fyi), we were going to show them how to work a real crime scene. We watch NCIS and CSI!

As the excitement wained and the perps were hulled off, I debated whether or not to offer my services to the reporter, I mean, I did see the whole thing go down and had already investigated the neighbors and the home owner. (BTW- they had no idea..etc). The poor channel 12 man had to be the cameraman, producer, and reporter, I wanted to help the guy out.

The fireworks didn't seem to be quite so exciting after that.

Day 3: The BEACH!
We had a few preconditions for an otherwise routine beach veg session - with a bum foot and crutches it had to be close to the drop off point. Working within our limited options we chose the pier. After a lovely day in the sun and a quick dip we headed for dinner. Brace yourself for another copa-ism.

Apparently the pier we selected was a fishing pier. A one stop shop where you can fish, gut and clean your catch. Well those little remains rarely make it to the provided garbage receptacles. Rather they are dropped off said pier. Now in California we have well acknowledged and adhered to shark seasons, but I guess in NC it is a year round phenomenon. And would you like to guess where the main shark hangout is for the area. You guessed it...our little pier. Oops.

Always an adventure!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

CC On the Move Part I

So Linds and I are in the process of preparing Chez Copa 3.0 ie moving across the street to a new building. But the venture is proving to be quite a challenge, as I am still a gimp and we are looking to accessorize our original Chez Copa, not completely redecorate. So step one was to pick up the same paint we used for the old apartment. Not too challenging right?

We have been living with these colors for about a year now so we should be more than able to pick them out of a line-up right? The only reason we would risk it is we both forgot to grab the original paint chips from home before our trip to the home depot.

So as I am heading down the 5 mile stretch of massachussetts ave that links lindsey's office to mine, on my way to the paint section of the depot, a woman getting out of a cab, smacks her car door into me, WHILE I WAS STILL DRIVING! I politely (as compared to our new yorker counterparts) reminded her that I was still in the car, and she was in the middle of moving traffic. I also pointed out in a much more emphatic octive that she did not seem to be remorseful. What a cow! This is a crime committed by shopping carts in dark grocery store parking lots, not downtown dc where the driver can identify you! Just saying!

Back to the Depot: after 20 minutes of hunting for our colors I was certian I selected the same color that currently colored my bedroom wall for the past 365 awakenings and slumbers. Although the name Jamaica Bay didn't ring a bell, the color looked identical.

It was only after we had returned that Linds pointed out that my original hue was marine isle. How do you mess that up???

Good to the Last Drop

Free Slurpee Day, Friday 7/11/08 ...get it 7/11! Just in time for the move!

On the way to the emergency room (the second time) for my foot, my mom made sure we stopped to try the new calorie free mango madness flavor, which I have to admit, is quite yummy.

When mentioning it to Goose she made a joke about it tasting so good because it was free. "Calorie free," mom emphasized.
"oh well that's not so tasty anymore," Goose retorts.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

One Grand Adventure

Just to fill you all in on the grand adventure resulting in a busted hoof (hope I didn't spoil the ending for anyone:

So to kick of the adventure, I race into work at o'dark hundred. I am packed not only for the trip but I have painstakingly organized specialized packs for each day so as to maximize organization and minimize time-loss on our adventure through the grand canyon. Setting aside a pack for the morning hike in, and the Tuesday hike back out, my little tote was up to OCD par.

Blazing out of work like the building was on fire, I make my way to the airport for my flight to Las Vegas. With my track record for missing a few flights, I was quite impressed with my arrival time, so much so I had time to enjoy a cup of coffee.

All was set. Famous last words.

With the family coursing their 5 hour drive to Las Vegas, I arrive and make my way to the baggage carousel. Still donning my work suit complete with stilettos I await my perfectly packed suitcase.

It never comes.

This is the first in a series of mishaps to the well oiled planning machine that is the Benson (Richer) family.

So after trying to explain to the extremely courteous and genuinely helpful baggage team at US Airways that I have not been sucked into the glitz and glam of the Las Vegas strip and will be trudging out another five hours by car (two of which are past any civilization and cell phone range). Although my duffel may be on the next flight, not even FedEx can unite me with my bag. The nearest village to our destination still receives their post by mule train. Ergo a bag is clearly out of the question.

So off the Benson (Richer) Fleet goes to Walmart. (Again still donning heels, pearls, and a pencil skirt. What a site)

After a quick stop at the Del Taco (see previous post on obsessive Taco disorder) we head for the rim!

Now sleeping on the south rim essentially involves a sleeping bag in a parking lot. A high note after my brother's digestive system gets ahold of the super del taco combo we had earlier that night.

After arriving and winking in about 2 hours of sleep we were rudely awoken by a small group of hiking infidels determined to wake my dear snoring aunt up. I have never been more compelled to slash tires than that moment, but since we were up at 3 I figured to let the day one hike begin.

The day one hike from the south rim to the campsite is a race against the sun. As soon as the rays hit those Indian red walls of the canyon you are hiking in blistering 110 degrees. In the shade and with water the 8 mile hike to the Supai village is manageable. Our fam has an edge on the competition though, I'm a speed Nazi trained by the Washington DC walkers (comparable to our brethren in New York) and the delightful snack packs Aunt KB packs for us. (Ziplocs filled with all the good stuff you look at in Target but never buy for fear of premature cardiac arrest: beef jerky, all flavors, cheese crackers, rice crispy treats, granola bars, and mike and ikes!)

Hitting the first sign of the stream at mile 7 we are not far from the village. Fun little story here is about 6 years ago, Ben lost his swimming trunks to the current. He will never let that story die. Bringing his GF Krista down, we of course had to share the tale with her(better than baby pictures)

At about 9:30 we finally hit the village, checked in, and met up with Aunt KB who flew in on the village helicopter. The stigma in our family about users of the village helicopter(and pack horses) is unless you are seriously injured (as my aunt is), you are a weenie and should not be allowed to enjoy the falls that we all work so hard to hike to. We let these weenies know they are not welcome by glaring. (What can I say, were not vigilantes, just smug.)

But the work is worth it, we trudge on for the final 4 miles of our day to the campsite. Although camp is only two miles, by the time you finish setting up camp you've pushed it the final two. But oh when you see Havasupi falls on your way in, the sunburn and sore thighs are worth it.

So day one a success, no injuries.

Day two, while waiting for my cousin Dani and Uncle Jeff to make their trip from the rim after squeezing an extra work day into the week, the Benson's descended on Havasupi Falls. Waba-Waba!

What a playground, between clamoring behind the falls, jumping off every rock possible, and squeezing through the toilet bowl, you would think bodily injury would ensue. Just a scraped knee from Krista on that score card. But we did notice a few changes from the last trip, the falls were more intense this year. The jump is a little hairier now, with the addition of a ladder and more moss frosting the rocks. But the upstpay is so fierce you can't really see how far up you are.

We finished out the day by the river swing and leaping from cave walls, all R and R for Sunday....Beaver Falls.

Beaver is awesome, with 3 sets of falls to jump from ranging from 10-25 feet, for our family, its what separates the men from the boys. Its a 4 mile hike from camp and requires scaling Mooney Falls, a 300 ft wall using a chain and well placed footholds. We call it the Elvis Shakes because the legs of the fearful shake so badly. Legend has it, it was named Mooney Falls after the guy who fell to his death propelling with only half the rope needed to safely come to earth from the summit.

It would be appropriate for me to fall here and retain some respect.

Ha not so.... so we continue the hike crossing the river and through the wild grapevines, snapping shots off where we could. And a mere 500 ft from our final destination ... happens. The trail narrows while a stream runs parallel to the trail about a foot below. My foot starts to slide on the clay-like mud and I hear the pops of my right foot; like rice krispies on steroids.

Pulling my feet out of the stream it is clear, I am not walking on it any time soon. As my foot swells and my tummy churns I am convinced its broken.

The irony of Dani's encouragement, walk it off, fell on deaf ears. In the Benson Clan, tears equal injury, and I wasn't crying.

The challenge: how do we get out. Dani and Grant take off to Mooney as we seem to remember a gurney on a single bike wheel secured next to the trail. After an hour of shock, Jeff, Ben and I start the piggy back tour of the canyon. By riding on their exhausted backs and crawling on my hands and bum over the rocky trail or the river crossing we made solid ground.

Dani and Grant had the foresight to replenish the water supply before bringing the gurney but that required an additional 4 miles rt up to camp and back, including a trip up Mooney. Whew!

You would have thought it was Christmas the way I shrieked at their sight with the basket. I was so relieved!

So Team Benson muscled me through the flat spots on the see-saw gurney, lifted me over the rocks, and I managed the crab walk through the river crossings.

We were met along the way by concerned hikers and villagers. Unbeknown to us, by the time we made it back to the Goliath - Mooney falls, the entire campground heard about the mishap and when the chopper scaled the cliff to retrieve me, the Supai village was standby.

The three miles from the accident glided beneath us from the helicopter while my foot continued to swell. It was quite an impressive feat!

Rather than make the full trip back to Kingman hospital, I opted to get dropped back off in the village, where I was greeted by the doctor in his Gator golf cart with off road tires.

The Rx: ace wraps, ice, and crutches. They had quite a selection of the latter: 5'3 or 6'0. Standing 5'8 I opted for the shorter of the two. I now had another 4 hours to kill while I waited for my family to return to camp and one of them to hike up to the village with a tent. Grant drew the shortest straw.

Arriving the the village, my guardian angel started to set up the tent. After 15 miles on his tires, he was clearly exhausted. As we realized we put the stakes in the wrong holes, on our tent being pitched right in the town square, we were approached by a couple informing us of the allegedly rampant tribe drug and crime incidents. They invited us to stay with them for the night. So Grant, myself and my 5'3 crutches eagerly accepted. They set us up in the village church!

I was almost as excited to see the air mattress on the cement floor as I was to see the tipsy-turvy gurney!

The next morning the family hiked out and took my second helicopter ride.

Clearly I wasn't flying back out of Vegas so it was off to mommas I went for some R & R. So much for shedding the princess title in the Benson Family!

A Soldiers Solute

Lifetime’s “Army Wives” Host Red Carpet Screening with Our Nation’s Heroes at Walter Reed

To kick-off the July 4th week and honor America’s servicemen and women and their families, the cast of Lifetime’s hit show “Army Wives” invited real Army Wives, Wounded Warriors and military servicemembers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to join them for a red carpet event and the advance premiere of an upcoming episode.

Linds and I popped in to catch a sneak peak as were heading to North Carolina for the weekend and would hate to abuse the Tivo. We were pleasantly surprised to see two of the cast members Sally Pressman and Brigid Brannagh! The author of the book that set off this craze, Army Wives' Tanya Biank was also there signing copies, so of course we jumped in line. Only to be asked if we were military wives or in the military. Embarressingly we responded with empty ring fingers, we were just fans.

As touching as it was to have real army wives and the actresses that play them speak on behalf of the surviving soldiers, the stand away speaker was Lee Woodruff, author of In an Instant and wife of ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff, who was injured in Iraq.

Although Bob is not enlisted, he stands shoulder to shoulder with service men and women and was injured covering their crises. She said, "Regardless of how you feel about the war, whether you are for it or against it, as long as our men and women put themselves in the line of fire, we should be there reporting on it." That quote speaks to the central reason I am working to get into international broadcasting. Like our troops, the sacrifice journalists make, in this case to bring the story to us and keep the world transparent is among the most noble.

I Love Tacos!

I love Mexican food, in particular tacos! But its seems as though some restaurants are really pushing too much of a good thing. It may be a spoof, but this hits it right on the tortilla!