Archive for the ‘Blah'G’ Category

Speech, speech, speech!

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Soooo, I have been asked to give a keynote speech at Sussex County Community College for their Ladies’ Retreat!

“How to Fail your Way to Success” is Dena’s heartwarming (not really), rags to riches (if riches meant eating at McDonald’s) story of growing up an orphan (whose parents are still alive), living on a deserted island (called America) and overcoming overwhelming obstacles (like being a middle child) and playing the glockenspiel (sadly, this part is true).
Dena’s ability to connect with her audience is astounding (mostly because she is drunk). Critics have called this speech “sweet and elementary” (probably because it was written by her kids). If you’re tired of hearing stories about how successful people get successful then this is the speech for you! Dena’s life is just a series of failures that lead her to the top! (and by “top” I mean…you’ve probably never heard of her)

For more information, go to Sussex CCC’s event page HERE

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What Happens at ‘Anderson Live’ When the Cameras Aren’t Rolling (PHOTOS) Staff editor Cory Lopez goes behind-the-scenes of Anderson Cooper’s daytime talker. By

Monday, February 4th, 2013

“Sit up. Fix your hair. Suck it in,” comedienne Dena Blizzard, better known as One Funny Mother, suggests to the studio audience as the producers count down the cameras.

And 3, 2, 1…and we’re rolling. As the audience rises from its seats with a round of applause, Anderson Cooper and his co-host of the day, Stacy London, stride onto the Anderson Live set, settle in to their posts, and dive right into the episode’s First 15. Talk hops from the hot dog, beer and peanuts-flavored Ballpark Gum, to the dapperly-dressed Menswear Dog, to a love note between two smitten 8th grade students, and to Unicorn Poop cookies.

Following the fun fluff, it’s on to Anderson Live Alert about revenge porn, a growing phenomenon that sees scorned exes post sexually-explicit photos of their former girlfriends or wives on websites. After hearing from two victims and their lawyer, Anderson brings in a legal expert as he speaks over the phone to the webmaster — who shields his identity with an alias and distorted voice — who operates the porn site.

The show wraps up on a lighter note, with the always-affable Today co-host Hoda Kotb dishing on her new book, 10 Years Later, which chronicles how adversity transformed the lives of six inspiring individuals, and the highlights of her career — winning an Emmy, a Murrow and of course, getting Anderson drunk.

But what shakes down on the set of Anderson Live when the cameras aren’t rolling?

Before, during and after taping each episode, there’s plenty of smiles, laughter and memory-making shared among the team.

As Anderson prepares for show in his private quarters (where spiffy suits seem to line the walls), the show’s guests are graciously escorted into their dedicated dressing room at CBS Studios, where some snacks, water, a television and a release form await them. Before long, an Anderson Live team member leads each to the land of the glam squad, where Kristi whips hair into masterpieces and Travis works his makeup magic.

All along, producers bounce around, briefing the Blogger of the Day and prepping guests for their specific segments. Before descending a few floors to the set, the audio team straps a mic pack to the waistbands of all on-air participants, asking for a speedy sound check before giving them the green light.

Under the bright spotlights of the studio, a center-stage perch awaits Anderson, his co-host of the day and guests, as executive producer Terence Noonan and his trust pet pooch, Nico, settle into the side-stage setup, which broadcasts a steady stream of Anderson Live-related tweets on a display board. The studio audience is already settled into the cushioned seats, chuckling at the wisecracks of Dena Blizzard, the comedienne charged with warming up the crowd each taping.

Even after the episode gets under way, commercial breaks provide a breather: producers pop on and off to provide Anderson with notes and props; the hair-and-makeup team dash in to tend to touch-ups on both the hosts and guests; and Dena calls for impromptu dance-offs among the studio audience.

After it’s all a wrap, Anderson scurries over to his in-studio photo booth, where he snaps candid shots with his guests, audience members and the Blogger of the Day before disappearing down the halls. As the staff swiftly tidies up the set, guests are ushered back up to the dressing rooms to pick up their personal belongings. Then it’s ta-ta (for now), as each is chaperoned to an awaiting car service just outside of CBS studios.

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“Meet Daytime Talk Show’s Warm-up Mom: Dena Blizzard Rules” Interview by Yahoo! Shine

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Before you meet Anderson Cooper, you have to meet Dena Blizzard. She’s what is known in the talk show circuit as “the warm-up coach.” Blizzard is “Anderson Live’s” pre-host: she entertains the studio audience before the show starts. She reminds us not to chew gum, or pick our nose when the camera pans over our seats. She makes it okay for audience members to break out into ‘running man’ during commercial breaks. And that’s just scratching the surface of her job. I spent the day at the “Anderson Live” studio and fell totally in love with Blizzard, a mom of three, who proudly wears an apron over her jeans with the words “one funny mother” emblazoned on the pocket. So when she got a break today, I pulled her aside for a little post-show interview.

How did you land this sweet gig?
I love when people ask me what they’d have to do to get my job. What I usually tell them is you only have to work in crappy bars in Philly as a waitress getting beer splashed on you for about six years.

That’s it? Something had to come between warming up for Anderson and serving PBRs.
I started doing standup ten years ago. I had just had my second baby and my husband Jimmy, who was in the army reserves, was sent oversees after 9/11. I was home with the kids all the time and the only time I talked to grown-ups was when I was doing stand-up routines at night. Then I got this call from a friend who was working for Paula Deen in Savannah.

The Paula Deen?
Yup. I was asked to warm up her audience for a show called “Paula’s Party,” which was shot in her brother’s restaurant. It was not your average talk show, so I came up with a really conversational, loose way of warming up the audience. I’d just talk to them, ask them questions. I’d invent games they could play on the spot that made no sense. I’d be like, ‘I need two balls and a monkey,’ and see what people would come up with.

You’re not like any “warm-up” coach I’ve ever seen (I went to a few tapings of “The Jon Stewart Show” in the ’90s). You’re much more personal and interactive. You’re also a woman.
I’m actually the only warm-up woman working full time in New York. Before Anderson–who is wonderful, by the way–I worked for Nate Berkus and Emeril. There are only about six of us with warm-up jobs right now in New York. Comedy is really a boys club. I’ve actually been recommended for a job and turned down when they found out I was a woman.

Their loss. This is your calling. What’s your psychological tactic for making people dance to Ke$ha at 7 in the morning in a freezing cold studio?
I like to get people feeling comfortable with each other, because if you’re comfortable you’ll really be able to enjoy yourself. So the first thing I do when people sit down in the studio, is I have them introduce themselves to their seat neighbors. Then suddenly everyone starts to loosen up. I also like just finding out about people in the audience. Did you see that priest with the dance moves today? That was a first for me.

You’ve got three young kids. Do they think you’ve got the coolest job ever?
Everyone thinks I’ve got the coolest job ever, including my kids. I brought my daughter to the set of “Anderson Live” last year on Take Your Kid to Work Day. She loved it. But when it comes to doing my stand-up, my kids never see that. It’s too dirty.

Right, you have a night-career as a comedian that’s far less FCC-friendly, than your morning persona.
Weekends were when I used to do stand-up. With “Anderson” I’m working from four in the morning, five days a week, and I feel guilty working on the weekends because then I don’t get to see my kids. So I’ve actually being doing less of that, but I still have a one-woman show, and I’ve posting sketch comedy videos to my website. I’m also hosting one of the preliminary events for Miss America.

Is it true you’re actually a former Miss New Jersey?
I was a Miss Jersey before my kids ruined everything.

Last question: can we be friends?
It’s on!

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My Birthday Flowers

Monday, October 1st, 2012

This past week I celebrated my birthday and learned a few things.

1. Anyone who wishes you a Happy Birthday is lovely…especially when they don’t include the number with it….like “Happy Birthday, Dena” not “Happy X Birthday” (unless they say 21st, which is fine and surprisingly close to my actual age)

2. It is perfectly fine to eat cake for breakfast on your birthday…and the day after your birthday, without sharing it with your kids.  If they are going to make me watch i-Carly reruns at 7:30am, I’m not sharing my birthday cake.

And 3,

Getting flowers on your birthday is amazing!  I was lucky enough to receive 4 vases of flowers on my birthday and I was ecstatic.  Somehow though as I got each one my reaction changed. This is how you know you are getting old. You can’ t just enjoy the flowers for their beauty.

Here is a pic of my flowers and my reaction from my Anderson Crew. Such a surprise and so lovely!

Second flowers….this is the best day of my life!

Third flowers..I’m so flattered!

Fourth Flowers….Am I dying? Did my doctor tell you guys something? How long do I have?

Many thanks to all my lovely friends and family,


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Do you have a “Break my Leg” plan?

Monday, September 10th, 2012

It’s Monday and I’m tired.  I already feel “Friday Tired” and it’s only Monday.  I know I’m supposed to love running around, taking care of my kids, being in my prime and all that sh*t. But frankly, I’m just tired.

I’ve actually formulated my “Break my Leg” plan.  It’s my plan for complete relaxation as soon as I break my leg.  I’m sure I’ll go through all that “Oh, gosh, I’m going to die…and I can’t believe my leg is broken” crap. But right after that, and a lot of codeine, complete relaxation.  I won’t shower or change my clothes. I’ll just watch Dexter and Boardwalk Empire and my house will be a mess. But you know what?! No one could say a thing@!!

People would feel sorry for me; and say things like “Dena, can we help with anything?” or “Can we send a casserole over?” “Hell, yeah!” I would say.  “That would be great! My kids love casserole…but you know what they love more? Chicken Parm with a side of angel hair pasta and maybe some of those Crescent Rolls. The low fat ones, I don’t want to be a pig”.

Ah, it would be like living the dream! Sure, one leg would be skinnier than the other for the next 8 weeks but who cares. No housework, laundry and free dinners for weeks.

I don’t want you to think I’m crazy. I’m not asking for my leg to be broken, that’s just crazy. I just have a plan to make it a positive experience if it does.  And I would only be happy if it’s my left leg. Then I could still drive myself to the mall and salad works. If not, I’m screwed…I’ll just be a girl with a stupid broken leg.

Just an FYI to any nut jobs!!! Please, Do not take this as a plea for someone to break my leg. Seriously, I don’t need anyone going all Tanya Harding on me.  Don’t be a sicko.

What’s your “Break my Leg” plan? What would you do for 8 weeks on break?

This is not me…but I feel like this is how I would roll with my broken leg…

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Miss Boobs-a-lot

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

My sister’s son has recently become fascinated with Barbie.  He likes to bring his Barbie everywhere they go…and most of the time with no shirt on.  When asked if his Barbie has a name he shyly responded, “I can’t tell you, it’s a secret.” My sister said, “Why is it a secret? Just tell mommy her name.”

He said, “She’s Miss Boobs-a-lot.”  Nuf said.

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Littlest Pet Shops- A New Hunger Games Tribute

Monday, August 20th, 2012

This morning my son asked if he could play with my daughter’s littlest pet shop toys. I thought it was a weird thing for him to ask since he is 12.

Last night the Hunger Games came out on DVD.

After I saw this… all made sense.

Those pets are smiling…but I know they are scared out of their minds.  May the odds be ever in their favor.

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Kohl’s Best backpack EVER!!!

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

I’m not a big shopper but I do LOVE  a great deal. Kohl’s has a great deal on the BEST BACKPACK EVER this week!!!

Four years ago I purchased a FUL backpack for my son at the end of the back to school season. It was on sale for 39 bucks at Target.  I usually don’t spend that much on a bag but there weren’t many other options. I figured that he would use if for 2 years and we would at least get our monies worth.  FOUR YEARS LATER the bag looks brand new!!!

I love his bag and decided last year to do the same thing for my daughter. FUL doesn’t have a lot of “pretty” girl designs but I did find a sturdy bag in the High Sierra brand at Kohls.  WELL….they are now ON SALE at Kohls and you can use a 15% coupon (promo code HEATWAVE) and get it for about $38 dollars!!! (It’s normally a $90 bag)

Here is a pic of my daughter’s bag from last year (On the right, I washed it on the last day of school) and the new purple one for my daughter Brooke.

If you’re tired of buying a new bag every year this one is perfect!!! Brooke’s even has a computer pocket for when she goes to college. She’s in third grade now so that’s roughly 4 bucks a year for a backpack she will keep forever. LOVE IT!!! LOVE KOHL’S!!!!

Click here to go to there website. You will pay a few bucks in shipping if you order online.  I went to the store 2 days ago a picked up Brooke’s. Saved a bunch!!

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The Silent Treatment

Monday, August 6th, 2012

The other day my son and I were talking in the car and he offhandedly said something that offended me.  It wasn’t his fault really. He is a 12 year-old boy trying to figure out the world and he was just talking out loud.  Either way…it didn’t make me feel very good.  He’s not five anymore so I can’t just slap his hand and tell him “no.” He is a big boy with big boy thoughts. I realized he is getting older so I am going to have to change the way I handle his indiscretions.  I have to start to deal with him as a “young man” and not as a child.  That’s when I decided that the best way to teach my son to speak nicely to me was to give him the “silent treatment”.

I’m not proud of myself.  I was thinking on the fly. The silent treatment is my “go-to” with my husband so I guess I just fell into that response.  He’s a boy, and Jim’s a boy….so it made sense.  At first, like Jimmy, he had no idea I was even mad and just kept calling my name. “Mom………….Mom…………can you hear me?” he said. I should have spoken up then, but I was surprisingly and sadly curious to see how he would handle it.

He kept asking me if “I could hear him” and I think he really believed I had suffered an injury while driving that rendered me deaf in the car.  You could see in his eyes that he had absolutely no idea what was happening and I realized this was his first “silent treatment.” It’s like a right of passage.  He would be on the receiving end of this stupid game for the rest of his male life and it started today.  I felt really bad.  I told him I was giving him the silent treatment because he had upset with what he said.  He honestly had no idea what I was talking about or that he had offended me.  He is really a super sweet kid, so naturally, I felt like a horrible mother.

We both learned a lot that day.  I learned my baby boy is growing up and I have to start treating him like a young man…but using words.   I’m not sure exactly what he learned. Maybe “my mom is a nut job” or “women are crazy” or “I had no idea we were actually fighting.”  Sadly,  my husband is learning these same lessons every day.

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Say Boo to a Bee by Guest Blogger, Lisa from Jersey

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

My 7 year-old son has become what I like to affectionately call a “creeper”. Ever since he turned 6 he has become obsessed with boobs. One day, shortly after his 6th birthday he informed me that all the girls in 8th grade have the biggest boobs in the school. He also told me that Daddy’s boobs (I think the correct term is “moobs”) were bigger than most of the girls’ in 8th grade. Since this new obsession, he has been creeping around me trying to get a flash of what my boobs really look like under my shirt. Sure, he’s tried the less invasive tactics like just asking me- “Mommy can I see what your boobs look like under your pajamas?” or simply trying to look down my shirt (just like his father!) but this has not quelled his curiosity.  Now, the sicko has resorted to creeping around when I am getting dressed trying to catch a glimpse of these elusive breasts. This morning, he crept into the bathroom as I was getting out of the shower. My quick, cat-like reflexes shielded my naked body with a towel but one of these days the boobs will be unleashed. So, I’ve decided on a new plan of defense.  I am going to show him my boobies. I am sure that if he is not immediately horrified, it will be an image that will scar him for the rest of his life…and doesn’t the little perv deserve that?

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