Tuesday, November 5, 2013


So you all know I write novels, but up until now, I couldn't really call myself an AUTHOR. But guess what?? My novel MOTOR DOLLS is now in print!! Yee haw!!! Check out the website, www.motordolls.com, where you can keep up with book news, learn about other Motor Dolls from around the world, and... oh yeah! Buy the book!

Friday, February 8, 2013


Where am I lately? Here... writing about my motorized babies. www.bondorella.com And here... writing about food. www.eatingcleanintheoc.wordpress.com

Friday, January 27, 2012

Guess what?

So remember, like, YEARS ago, when I wrote my novel MOTOR DOLLS? And then the sole focus was to find an agent cause THAT'S WHAT WRITERS DO even though only about ten percent get signed? And then--glory be to heaven--AN AGENT ACTUALLY SIGNED ME??

Yeah. I remember that too. I also remember how she had me rework the novel to the point it no longer resembled what I originally wrote. Argh. Then she shopped it to publishers and had interest from a couple of MAJOR houses, only to have them want further changes?"...maybe limit the cars since girls might not get it..." Really?

Yep. Remember that too. I also remember it all falling part and never wanting to write again.

I also remember several "Oh-joyous-day-I-want-to-write-again..." posts...

So why is this one different?


And since I work in news, I ALWAYS honor my deadlines. In fact, I already spoke with a couple of artists about doing the cover art (oh... will it ever be fun!!!) and have started laying out the novel for both it's e-book and the print book. I'm about a quarter of the way through the final cleanup edit...

Then I'm going to take the beauty to print under the MOTOR PALACE PRESS imprint.

My deadline you ask? MID-MARCH. I want the final product in my hand by April first. I want the promo materials like post cards and stickers and stuff by Viva Las Vegas. The I'm gonna plaster the joint! HA!

So your job? HOLD ME TO IT.


That's all.

Later gators!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Interesting and Odd

Since I've been slackin' the last couple days on the blog, and I don't really feel like writing about my news day, this post is going to be a mish-mash of the INTERESTING and ODD things that happened over the last couple of days... or at least INTERESTING and ODD to me. So here they are in no particular order.

Did you know a lot of people shop on their smart phones? That's something I learned during our Cyber-Monday story. You probably knew that, but I found it INTERESTING (if not a wee bit disturbing)! Rampant consumerism. So why is our economy tanking? Most INTERESTING .

Here's something kinda ODD and voo-doo-ish.

I went to the antique fair in Torrance on Sunday (seen here with my swell family), and because I felt like being a girl, I wore one of my favorite vintage dresses. While walking around checking out all the cool stuff, a woman approached and handed me a clutch. She said she wanted me to have it because it matched my outfit so perfectly and I had the guts to wear vintage. Super nice, right? Then like five minutes later, the handle on my own vintage purse BROKE. Yep. So her little gift came in quite handy. I find that INTERESTING and ODD... don't you?

Here's something for ya. Why don't we listen to our brains? INTERESTING, right?

On Friday, I took my visiting family on a SoCal tour (my super cool Aunt Debbie was in town from Kentucky) and one of our stops was the Crystal Cove tide pools. We were checking out all the cute little critters when I decided--despite my brain telling me it was stupid and I'd probably slip--to step over a crevasse to the other side. And guess what? I did in fact slip, doing a pirouette--so my Aunt Debbie says--and falling between the jagged rocks up to my hips in water and my shoulders in rock, and in that process, smashed up a rather expensive lens. ODD how I didn't listen to my own common sense, don't ya think?

Speaking of brain control, we did a most INTERESTING interview with Depak Chopra today.

Talk about the epitome of calm! He's in town hosting a seminar for war vets on how to use the mind to heal both emotional and physical ailments. I'm a big believer in the power of positive thinking and know he's truly onto something. Heck. Norman Vincent Peale's Power of Positive Thinking pulled me out of pretty dark place once.Wanna hear something ODD? I found the book at a point when I'd hit rock bottom. I used to walk over to the La Brea Tar Pits and sit on a bench there to think, and one day it was just sitting there waiting. And guess what? The tar pits were one of the unplanned places we visited this week.... ODD.

The Tar Pits themselves... INTERESTING.  So very, very INTERESTING. Especially since my visiting Aunt Debbie had been reading about them, and we just happened to be driving on La Brea and she asked if they were near and we were just blocks away... so we went. WHOA.... ODD.

Another ODD bit. Our legal system. Odd is perhaps too gentle a term to describe the disasters in our courts. Why is it that a man who walks into a salon, blows away eight people (including his ex-wife), and gives a full confession to the police when arrested, pleads NOT GUILTY during an arraignment for the crime???

Come on! Clearly he had no problem taking responsibility for the crime after he did it, so why do the attorneys talk him into pleading not guilty instead of sparing the tax payers a whole lot of money and time for a lengthy trial?? Talk about a waste! He knows he's guilty, all the witnesses know he's guilty, upon arrest his truck was full of the weapons used, he had on a bullet proof vest, and most of all, the man put up his hands when the cops stopped him minutes after the rampage and said, "I know what I did." What more do ya need????? ODD. And flat out stupid. That was my story yesterday.

ODD. The characters on Hollywood Boulevard. Totally ODD (and frankly quite creepy).

My family. Both INTERESTING and ODD. Whoa. Beyond odd! But that's why I love 'em! Thanks for a wonderful visit Aunt Debbie, Daddy, and Mommy! Love ya!

I could probably dig up some other INTERESTING and ODD things from the past couple of days ('cause life is full of 'em), but it's getting dark and I want to go veg. Hope you enjoyed this little diversion from the norm.

Later gators!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Woo hoo!!! It's almost T-Giving!!

In less than twenty-four hours, I will be stuffin' the stuffin' into my gaping maw with my ma, pa, feller, and Aunt Debbie from Kentucky. Mmmmmm!!! I do so love Thanksgiving.

But first... I must finish my work day. Easy enough story: Tips on how to be safe during the holidays, like locking car doors and house doors. Should be obvious, right? But so many people forget. OR... and this is the big one... they leave STEAL-ABLE things in plain sight, like on the front seats or windows of their cars. Not that I'd ever do something like that. Nope. Nuh-uh. Ahem... certainly not in the news van. Someone like me would NEVER get their windows busted out.

Ahem... okay. Moving on.

Mall parking lots are one of the most common spots for bad guys to take stuff from inside your car. It took a while, but we finally found a mall who would let us on their premises (most think we're Satan's Spawn and keep us far, far away). Shot the story. Had a little lunch. Bought a super cute pair of shoes!! (Yes, I really am a girl, even though it's often hard to tell). I especially like the cuteness of this shoe contrasted with my really, really ugly old Roots work boots! Ha!

I got back and put the mast up on the truck (it goes up 40 feet, but I needed only about 20). My pal Mark in routing said, "I never, never, never say this to a woman, but you're perfect!" Granted, he was talking about my microwave signal, not me, but I'll take it... when all of the sudden, BAM!!!! I look up to see my mast shooting the other 20 feet up into the air even though I wasn't holding the Up button!!! WHOA! My transmitter went into Red (not good) and I saw a cable dangling broken forty feet up. Uh oh. Really not good. SO... no live shot for us. The truck will have to go up for repairs.

Instead, I cut the piece and fed it in via MCDS, which is our video dropbox on the Internet. With the new 4G cards, it takes just a couple of minutes to feed versus 20-40 minutes on the old 3G. Gotta love technology!

And since I'll be with Mom and Dad the next four days (and I write this blog primarily for them), I'll be taking a break for a bit.

Until Monday...

Eat lots and lots and lots of good T-Giving stuff....

Later gators!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Killer Trees

One thing you learn in this business, is that terrible things happen to people for no good reason, like Haeyoon Miller, who was crushed by a Eucalyptus tree a couple of months ago as she drove along Irvine Avenue in Newport Beach.
Photo from the Orange County Register

People say the tree had been leaning, but no one reported it to the city. And then it fell, crushing the car and the driver.

There are tons of Eucalyptus in Newport, planted in the twenties and thirties as a wind break for the farmland once covering the area. They have a life span of about 100 years and most of the trees dotting the Newport landscape are between 60 to 80 years old. Yes, they're reaching the end.

But regardless, the city's reaction to the accident seems extreme to many, including me. Within weeks, the city cut down 140 trees, and now they're talking about cutting 33 more in a neighborhood.

Why kill more trees? Yes, I feel great sympathy for the Miller family, but that accident was just that. An accident. Like a lightening strike. The odds of something like that happening again I imagine are pretty steep. So why strip an entire community of nature?? Granted, the city promises to replant more stable trees in their place... and I get that. I really do. I know Eucalyptus are precarious trees with shallow roots, but why not monitor them instead, only removing them when absolutely necessary.  Not only would that save the city money, it would preserve the trees for a few more years, maybe even decades. A commission voted against removing the trees, but the mayor wants to open it up for discussion again. Come on! Why not trust the experts??

Uh oh. I'm expressing an opinion. I'm not supposed to do that. But... SAVE THE TREES!!!

The vote is tonight.

I'll let you know tomorrow.

Oh! And to follow up on a story from a couple days ago. Remember the fourteen year old who went missing right before Halloween?

She is now home safe and sound after spending a couple weeks with a twenty-four year old man at HIS PARENTS HOUSE. Seriously??? What the heck were his parents thinking letting him keep his fourteen year old girlfriend there??? Oh dear. I'm really ranting today, aren't I. Sorry. At least she's home.

Until tomorrow...

Later gators!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Play Hard or Go Home!

I'm going to keep this post short, one, because our news story wasn't that interesting, and two, because I'm beat and stressed from a two hour drive home in bumper to bumper traffic. My regular reporter called in sick today, so I had to hoof it to Hollywood for a shoot. Amazing how a thirty-eight mile drive can take that long! Argh! Gotta love L.A.!

First, a quick note about the weekend. Our G-Girl meeting was fun and informative, and the plaque collection of Stan the Plaque man was phenomenal!! Click the picture to see the full photo album.

The surf trip to San Elijo was FANTASTIC!! Kristin and I felt as if we'd been swept away on a magnificent vacation, even if only for a day. Lots and lots of time in the water--and I stood up first thing on the surfboard!!! Granted, I still didn't "surf" in my mind, just stood up. But that's a start, right? Great company, great food, a sunset dinner at a fantastic restaurant, and fireside s'mores. What more could a girl want??

I didn't make it through the day unscathed, though. Wanna see my war wounds??? First, my swollen foot from... a jelly fish sting? From over stressin' my foot? Not sure, although I did feel a sting during the day, but couldn't find a mark on the bottom of my foot. Pretty, huh?

My other war wound, this lovely, fist sized bruise on my hip! I got this from getting tumbled in a wave and whacked by the fin of the surfboard. Ouch!! Ha ha ha ha! No big deal. I think the wounds only add to the experience. Play hard or go home, right??

As for my news story, it really was rather pointless. It rained yesterday (oh no!), and Melrose flooded (oh no!). Melrose is a trendy, low-brow kinda shopping district, and, from what we could gather, the drains didn't drain quick enough and some water got into the stores. Yes, news to the shop owners, but not really news TODAY for the viewing public. Yesterday maybe, but not today. Fortunately, our place had sent a crew out yesterday so we had something to work with. To flesh it out, Jen and I did a couple interviews. Slapped it together. Set up on Melrose for a live shot.

The most entertaining part? The people watching of course. Punk rock, baby!

And then of course, my day ended with the two stinkin' hour drive home! Argh!!! Okay. Well... writing this helped mellow me out, so... thanks!

Now I'm off to the tub to further unwind. Hmmm.... I wonder if it's reasonable to use my new Kindle for tub reading? What's the worst that can... never mind. Electronics. Water. No bueno.

Until tomorrow...

Later gators!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Flyin' High!!

Remember a couple of days ago when I did the story on the helicopter supervisor who allegedly took his girlfriend on a joy ride and I said it would have been a really cool day if I'd gotten to go up in the helicopter??

Well today, I got to go up in one!!! Woo hoo!! Lance here was our very skilled pilot.

In case you hadn't heard, the Natalie Wood death investigation has been reopened because the Captain on the boat that night has now come forward and said he lied to investigators at the time. He claims Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood had a terrible argument that night, and that after she disappeared, Wagner didn't want to make any effort to find her. The captain said he believes Wagner was responsible for her death.

Because we're the closest crew to Catalina, my reporter and I got to hop on a helicopter and fly over to interview Doug Bombard, the former Harbor Master of Two-Harbors, who, not only was friends with the couple, but was also the one who recovered her body. He gave us a helicopter tour pointing out where the dingy was found, and how he, from that, figured which way the current would have taken her body. Within half an hour, he found her.

An interesting tidbit about Doug: He was born on Catalina Island in 1926! His dad, a race car mechanic, moved there in 1920. What the heck was even out there back then?? For those of you who don't know, Catalina is a very small island off the Southern California coast, about 3600 people. You can pretty much see all there is to see within a day or two--although I guess there is quite a bit of uninhabited stuff to explore. I can't imagine growing up in such a place, especially that long ago!

 The best part of the trip was flying low over the water. It almost felt as if we were skimming it. AND... we saw an AMAZING school of dolphin doing acrobatics! Along the shoreline, the water looked deep turquoise. So very, very pretty.

Often, people ask how I deal with all of the bad stuff I have to cover for the news, and sadly, I do see a lot of bad stuff. BUT... there are the days like today when I get paid to do something pretty darned cool. Granted, the core story is not a good one, but the experience certainly was.

And now I've gotta wrap this up. Busy night and weekend ahead. Tonight? It's our monthly Gasoline Girl meeting at Stan the Plaque Man's Shop (he's the one who made our plaques and many, many other SoCal Car club plaques). And tomorrow, fellow G-Girl Kristin and I are meeting a bunch of car guys down at San Elijo beach in San Diego for a day of surfin!!! Woo hoo!!!

Until Monday...

Later Gators!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Adapting to change....

I'm going to veer off the daily news story theme for a bit because I'm doing something entirely new. I'm writing this post with my all new Kindle Fire. Cool, eh?

I, like many novelists, hesitated with the whole E-READER thing. The romance of holding a book couldn't be replaced by a machine. No way, no how. Nuh uh...

I went through the same thing with digital cameras. Nothing could replace film. No way, no how. Nuh uh...

But... I was wrong. I know, I know. Not easy to admit, but I'll be a big girl about it. I love the immediacy of digital cameras and the ability to shoot and shoot to my heart's content without the time and expense of film. And I tell ya... the instant feedback has made me a better photographer. I remember the days when I'd make notes on a little pad about each frame then try to compare those notes to the images once they were processed and printed. It wasn't easy to experiment. But with digital?? ENDLESS experimentation.

So when Kindle came out with the Fire, I decided to give it a try. I'd been wrong about digital cameras; maybe I was wrong about this. And besides, if I hated it as a reader I could still use it for web access, movies, music... and the price was right, so why not?

And guess what? I've had it less than 24 hours and I love this thing! Last night when I pulled this sucker out of the box, I immediately went for the book selections, and found the forgotten (on my part) third part of the Hunger Games!! After reading the second book in the trilogy, I couldn't wait for the third to come out but somehow got buried in other stuff and forgot! Mockingjay was my first Kindle download. Within seconds I had my book with no trip to the bookstore! Dang! How cool is that???

I thought I'd hate reading off a screen, but after a couple of paragraphs I forgot about the device. The page background can be set to off-white, like most books, and it's easy to hold, turn pages, and simply lose yourself in make believe without the bulk and waste (hard as it is to say) of paper.

So... adapting to change isn't too bad, right?

Which kinda ties into one of my news stories today about a new retirement study. Talk about adapting! Instead of the hallowed 65 to retire, most people working today will have to work until they're 80. Yep! I said 80. The graph below shows the percentage of each retirement dollar people expect to get from the government. I'd say it's pretty accurate. I look at the difference between my parents and I. They retired a couple years ago, and in addition to a lot of very smart saving, are getting social security. Can I count on that same supplement?? Who knows. I know I'm not counting on it, which fits into the 20% for 40-somethings!

And man! The way my 401k continually gets devalued. Yikes!

The big fear for me is this: Can I carry all this heavy gear until I'm 80? Years ago, my feller and I talked about the impact carrying fifty to sixty pounds every day might have on me physically and we decided I should retire by 45. Well... that's less than a year away, and I sure don't think I'm financially close to retiring, nor am I mentally done with it either. I still enjoy what I do. Look at all the great people I meet, and the amazing things I see!

Hmmm... The whole workin' til 80 thing might not be as easy to adapt to as switching from a book to an E-Reader.

In addition to the retirement story, the day started with an explosion in Anaheim (and an early call for me) and ended with an Occupy OC event at John Wayne airport.

But really... I don't need to go into detail. I've rambled on entirely too long with this post and truthfully, I want to go play with my Kindle Fire.

(Confession here... Halfway through the blog post, I switched to the computer to write. I'm thrilled I have the ability to post from the Kindle, but it's tough to two-finger type on the screen pad, especially when I can whiz through it on a computer!)

Until another exciting day tomorrow...

Later gators!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Whew! So many stories, so little time...

Wowie. Did I ever get moved around today!!

My reporter was given the day to "enterprise" future stories, in other words, rather than doing the run-n-gun day-of-air reporting, she could do some research and set up some perhaps more in depth pieces to shoot down the road.

I, however, still needed to get out there and cover the happenings in Orange County. And man, did I cover it!

First stop? The Orange County Fire Authority. Six o'clock last night, some drunk ran through the gates, knocked over a pole, and crashed into the 911 Memorial, where, because of the eternal flame burning, his car caught fire.

Next, I headed down south to Laguna Hills High School,where a group of mentally disadvantaged kids in a life skills program got a recycling award. These kids were awesome! Even though most of them lacked verbal skills, they were so much fun. And you could see their pride in contributing to the school and community by recycling all of the water and soda bottles.

This dark-haired boy below, Devon, took a liking to me and became my BFF during the shoot. He hung onto my arm the entire time--which made for a challenging hour, but he was so darn sweet I couldn't say no.

From there, I headed north to Cal State Fullerton to cover more of the "Occupy" stuff. Today, the CSU trustees in fact voted for a 9% fee increase, which resulted in chaos over at Cal State Long Beach, including a shattered glass double door. In Fullerton, things were considerably calmer. They've set up tents outside the library in an attempt to educate fellow students about what's going on in the trustee system and what they can do to push for change. Tonight, they'll have a rally and discuss the day's happenings.

And finally, to round out the day, I ended up in Santa Ana at the Sheriff's Department to shoot a silhouetted interview of a mom who wanted to get the word out about child annoyance.

Her middle school aged daughter who has to ride public transportation to school, was being repeatedly harassed by a man on the bus to the point she no longer wanted to go to school. When her mom realized how serious it was becoming, she reported it to the sheriff's and they did in fact arrest him.

Yay for the good guys!

WHEW! I hardly had time to inhale my burrito today!

So now I'm headed home to relax, and maybe, do it all over again tomorrow.

Until then....

Later gators!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Shattered Glass

Oh dear. It was not a good couple of days for me and glass.

Saturday I decided to change out the old cracked windshield in my '48 Ford with a new one... but the glass cracked on the way to Torrance (I'm assuming), where I'd planned to demonstrate to a lovely group of ladies how to do it. Read all about it here.

This morning, at 4:20 a.m., the alarm on my news van went off, and Brian said he heard the pop of glass. Sure enough, someone had busted both the driver's side and passenger side windows out.

And for what... my GPS unit and an ancient cell phone. Thankfully, nothing more was stolen. It astounds me how petty thieves put their freedom at risk for something so small.

But then... considering our jails are at 180 percent of capacity, petty thieves probably don't do much jail time. The most ridiculous part?? I KNEW better than to leave my GPS in plain sight! Heck, I'd done tons of news stories on smash and grabs with GPS devices. The one night I forget to put it away... *sigh*

So... I got a lovely morning drive in a windowless van from Orange to Burbank. Brrrrr!! It was actually kind of fun, though, kinda like bein' in a roadster!

While waiting for the glass guy to get the new windows in, I got lots of little repairs done to my equipment. Since I don't make it to the lot very often, I don't get days to take care of this kind of stuff, so that was handy.

Then it was off with one of my favorite reporters to do a story on traffic! A new nationwide traffic study indicated that 6 of the 7 most congested stretches of highway are in Los Angeles. Funny. No one we talked to seemed surprised. Ha!

The SINGLE MOST congested stretch of highway in the United States, according to the researchers, is on the Harbor Freeway, specifically the three-mile stretch of northbound California Highway 110 near Dodger Stadium running through downtown.

The report estimates more than 1.4 million person hours are wasted each year by people sitting in traffic at that one intersection, using 2.1 million gallons of gasoline. Dang! No wonder I always avoid that section of freeway!

Yawn! Sorry. It was a long day, considering my rude wake up call this morning. I'm off to sleepyland!

Until tomorrow....

Later gators!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

What began as a lovely day...

It's Friday. It's Veteran's Day. And it's 11/11/11. So I deserve a fun story today, right? Plus, I did my little dance last night to the news gods for something visual, and hey! I got my wish!

The news planners wanted us to do a story on coastal weather. Newsworthy why? Because we're expecting a big storm tonight and tomorrow. I know the producers had visions of people at the beach in the rain. But... it's not raining yet.

I didn't complain, though. The assignment got me to the beach! I have a little obsession right now: learning to surf. My pal El Marko took me out a couple of weekends ago and I've been thinkin' about it a whole lot ever since. (You can read all about it here). So to take pictures of surfers??? A dream assignment!!!

I talked to this nice surfer girl when she got out of the water and mentioned I was just learning and really wanted to get out in the water again. She told me about a group of beginner women who get together in Newport! Can't wait to check 'em out.

I was happy. Smiling. Talked to this nice couple from Vegas who were quite cold in the wind.

Then... they changed my story. BOO!!!!!

To what you ask? What could be more newsworthy than a rain story on a non-stormy beach?

A missing 14-year-old girl. Jackie Martinez left her house October 30th to go candy shopping, but never came home. Cops later found out (via her Facebook page) that she planned to meet up with a 15-year-old boy, but he claims she never showed. Nothing much was done over her now twelve-day absence because she'd sent a text the day after her disappearance saying she was okay, and by back tracking on her FB page, its clear she had a history of meeting up with boys.

But regardless of her past behavior, she's still fourteen, and she's still missing. Now the PD is putting out a larger effort to find out where she is. Friends and family have created a Facebook page to get her picture out there. The very social networking that may have gotten her into trouble in the first place now used to maybe help find her.

So while I lost the visual story, at least maybe I ended up doing a story that might aid in the search for Jackie. Yeah, 14-year-old girls do dumb things sometimes, but that doesn't mean bad things should happen to her.

And now... I'm ready for a fun, Gasoline Girl weekend. Bondorella will be getting new glass! Check out www. bondorella.worpress.com for an update on that! Should be posted by Monday.

Until then....

Later gators!