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Van McNeil's Blog


Posts from January 2013


Warm Bodies Nicholas Hoult Interview.
You may have seen Nicholas Hoult in X-Men: First Class or Clash of the Titans. He currently stars as, "R" in the "Romantic Zombie Comedy" Warm Bodies, in theaters this weekend.

A funny new twist on a classic love story, WARM BODIES is a poignant tale about the power of human connection. After a zombie epidemic, R (a highly unusual zombie) encounters Julie (a human survivor), and rescues her from a zombie attack. Julie sees that R is different from the other zombies, and as the two form a special relationship in their struggle for survival, R becomes increasingly more human – setting off an exciting, romantic, and often comical chain of events that begins to transform the other zombies and maybe even the whole lifeless world.

In this interview Nick and I talk about...

Premise of the movie and dealing w paparazzi...


Working with John Malkovich and the make-up process...


What is Nicholas working on next?

MOBILE USERS: WATCH Warm Bodies Trailer and First 4 Minutes...click here.
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Famke Janssen Hansel and Gretel Interview.
You've seen Famke Janssen as Bond girl Xenia Onatopp in GoldenEye.  Jean Grey/Phoenix in the X-Men film series and LOTS more! 

She made her directional debut with Bringing Up Bobby in 2011 and joins me to talk about her new movie Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters in theaters this weekend!

In this interview Famke and I talk about....

What fans can expect w Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters


The make-up process...


Doing stunts and working with Jeremy Renner...
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ATTENTION TEACHERS! AN AMAZING OPPORTUNITY AWAITS!
2012 Washington D.C. Teacher of the Year Perea Blackmon joins me to talk about an AMAZING OPPORTUNITY for teachers across the nation!

Perea Blackmon began her teaching career 21 years ago with the District of Columbia Public Schools. She currently teaches a 3rd and 4th grade Montessori class at the Langdon Education Campus.

In addition, Mrs. Blackmon supports her colleagues as the Teacher Lead, Grade Level Chairperson and the DIBELS coordinator. During the 2011-2012 school year, Mrs. Blackmon served on the DCPS Chancellor’s Teacher’s Cabinet. In 2011, Mrs. Blackmon was the recipient of the Rubenstein Award for Highly Effective Teaching. Mrs. Blackmon is currently the 2012 District of Columbia State Teacher of the Year.
 
In this interview Perea and I talk about....

How she became 2012 Washington D.C. Teacher of the Year...


What's is this contest all about and what's at stake...


The Teacher of the Year Ceremony and what's next for her...
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Gemma Arterton Hansel and Gretel Interview.
After getting a taste for blood as children, Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton)  have become the ultimate vigilantes, hell bent on retribution.  Now, unbeknownst to them, Hansel and Gretel have become the hunted, and must face an evil far greater than witches...their past.

In this interview Gemma and I talk about...
What you can expect from this movie...


Special Effects and Green Screen...


Co-Star Jeremy Renner and what's next...

 
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Entertainment Tonight Interview w Rocsi Diaz.
Rocsi Diaz is the weekend co-anchor and daily correspondent for ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT / Weeknights | 6:30pm | WISN-TV 12

Prior to joining ET, Diaz served as co-host of BET’s 106 & Park, the country’s number one daily music video show.  In addition to co-hosting for BET, Diaz produced and hosted her own radio show, Rocsi on the Radio. Diaz is also a monthly contributor for Latina Magazine.

Rocsi covered the Presidental Inaugration and sat down first with First Lady Michelle Obama at the Kids’ Inaugural Concert to discuss a variety of topics from her new hairstyle and recent birthday gift to Lance Armstrong’s recent doping confession and more!

In this interview Rocsi and I chat about....

Her crazy schedule in covering the Presidental Inauguration.


Joining the Entertainment Tonight family, working w the Obama's and THIS picture w Usher.


Michelle Obama's Dress, THESE pictures from the Inaugural Parade and a little Grammy talk.

www.ETonline.com
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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration Interview
Join me THIS SUNDAY January 20th at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts as I co-host the 29th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration. The event is FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!

Did you know the Milwaukee, WI and Atlanta, GA are the only two cities in THE NATION that put on a celebration for Dr. King?

Always taking place in the month of January, this event focuses on keeping the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. alive. The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Birthday Celebration programming highlights the youth in our community who every year interpret Dr. King’s words through an art, speech and writing contest. In addition, various cultural arts organizations take center stage in Uihlein Hall, truly demonstrating the excellence of our arts community.

This year's theme is "Fair Play, Good Will and Justice" 

Joining me in the studio is the WINNING SPEECH WRITER in the 7th and 8th grade category, Alexandria Eggert!

In this interview Ally & I chat about....

Why she got involved and what she wrote about...


Ally reads her AWARD WINNING speech...
www.MarcusCenter.org
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Undercover Boss Interview - Moes Southwest Grill President Paul Damico.
I don't know about you, but whenever I come across Undercover Boss on TV, (Fridays | 8/7 CT| CBS) I always watch!
 
Paul Damico, President of Moe’s Southwest Grill, has to bite his tongue after realizing one of his restaurant supervisors is being pushy and rude to the line workers. Later, Damico works with a catering director who goes out of her way to bring in new business for the company, on UNDERCOVER BOSS.

One of fastest growing Southwest chains in America. Headquartered in Atlanta, GA.  Moe’s serves healthy cuisine at 500 locations. 34 states. Opening a new restaurant every 6 days.

In this interview Paul and I talk about...

How he kept his cool with employees while being undercover...


More Moes Southwest Grill locations coming to Wisconsin? and what Paul learned...


How does Undercover Boss work? Did they approach Moes Southwest Grill?

 
www.cbs.com/shows/undercover_boss
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Not Your Mother's Rules the NEW secrets for dating Interview.
ATTENTION SINGLE LADIES!! Have you ever dated a guy and asked yourself after the fact, "How long should I wait to respond to his text message?" or, " Can I friend him on Facebook?".
Not to worry! New York Times Best Selling Authors Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider are here to sort it all out!

Since 1995 when Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider released their seminal dating guide, The Rules, the world has changed.  These days everyone is constantly on their cell phones checking email, texting, tweeting and posting on Facebook. People are online dating and video-chatting, and instant messaging has far outpaced talking on the phone as a way to keep in touch. When The Rules was first published, its message was straightforward: be mysterious. But for women looking for love today, it's not quite so simple.

In this interview Ellen, Sherrie and I talk about...

Why an update of The Rules almost 20 years later?

 
The girl that just showed up at my door...


Facebook, texting and  sexting...


How to get in touch w Ellen and Sherrie and what's next?

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Monster Jam Interview w Grave Digger Driver Randy Brown.
All kinds of "Monster Trucks" invade Milwaukee this weekend at BMO Harris Bradley Center as the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam takes place January 18th and 19th.

I've never been to an event like this before but am excited to check it out after talking to the driver of the legendary Grave Digger monster truck, Randy Brown!

In this interview Randy and I talk about...

What you can expect at Monster Jam.


How many Grave Digger trucks are there, the Monster Jam competition and what's at stake for all the drivers...


Grave Digger's rival and women in the sport...


How he got involved with Grave Digger...




www.MonsterJam.com

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2 Broke Girls Interview w Jonathan Kite
Jonathan Kite plays Oleg The Russian Cook on CBS' 2 Broke Girls. (Mondays 9/8pm CT)

Jonathan is an avid writer and is finishing his first full-length feature film, "The Walk On," which he will also star in and produce.

He is an expert mimic, boasting more than 50 impressions and dialects that include Vince Vaughn, Tom Hanks, Seth Rogen, Liam Neeson and Robert Downey, Jr.  He is an active supporter of various autism and breast cancer charities.

When not working on “Two Broke Girls,” Kite tours the country doing his unusual brand of stand-up comedy and celebrity impressions.

 In this interview Jonathan chats about....

Jonathan's recent getaway to Australia....


Tonight's 2 Broke Girls Episode...


Growing up in the Chicagoland area and studying at The Second City.

 
www.cbs.com/shows/2_broke_girls/
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Michael Yo omg!Insider Interview
Michael joins the newly revamped omg!Insider co-anchored by Kevin Frazier & Thea Andrews which you can watch weeknight at 9:30pm on WMLW-TV.

Most recently, Yo was the host of “The Yo Show on Yahoo!,” which launched in April 2012. He is best known for his work on the E! programs “Chelsea Lately,” “The Daily 10,” “E! News,” “Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami” and his own show “Yo on E!” as well as correspondent roles on “Extra, “Showbiz Tonight and “Today.”

In this interview Michael and I chat about...

The People's Choice Awards.


Academy Awards Nominations and Marlon Wayans dis.

 
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OneRepublic Announces NEW Record; releases NEW single.
Mark your calendars for a BRAND NEW OneRepublic record!

Ryan Tedder and the guys made the announcement today about, "Native" which will be in stores and available for download March 26th.

Along with the announcement of the new record, they also released a new single called, "If I Lose Myself".

Take a listen below and let me know what you think...




In 2009, I had a chance to sit down and chat with the entire group at The Riverside Theater. At the time they were about to release their last record, "Waking Up" which BTW is a great album.

MOBLIE USERS: Watch OneRepublic Interview...click here.



www.OneRepublic.com

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Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Interview
This year, Uncle John celebrates 25 years of sitting on the throne as the King of Bathroom Reading.

With more than 100 titles published over the past 25 years, the Bathroom Readers’ Institute is celebrating its Silver Anniversary the best way it knows how—by releasing its largest book yet: Uncle John’s Fully Loaded 25th Anniversary Bathroom Reader and we have Editor-In-Chief Gordon Javna to tell us all about it!

In this interview Gordan and I chat about...

Just a little bit of what you can expect in the book like... The Lone Ranger. 
What is the process in putting together an Uncle John's Book and the German U Boat story.


What's next for Uncle John?
 
 
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How's your New Years Resolution going? Some help from Janet Taylor M.D. MPH
We are one week into 2013...

How's that resolution you made a few weeks ago?

You still on it or have you given up already? What do your resolutions say about you?
 
A new survey finds that adults that made New Year’s resolutions say they personally behave more responsibly now than they did five years ago compared to those who did not.

Joining me to tell us more is Psychiatrist and Health Media Expert Dr. Janet Taylor.


Dr. Janet Taylor Interview 1/2


Dr. Janet Taylor Interview 2/2
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So far, SO GREAT!
3 & 1/2 months and counting since my family and I packed up our stuff in NJ and made the trek to Milwaukee! Anytime you leave what you've "known" for years and years, you always worry that: It won't work It's not a great fit It'll take a LONG time to FIT IN Well, I'm here to say that all of those answers couldn't be farther from the truth! From DAY 1, my radio family here at The Mix has welcomed my family and I with OPEN ARMS (My favorite JOURNEY song btw) and it's like we've known each other forever! At the same time, my new family of radio listeners (ALL OF YOU reading this right now) have also made me so incredibly comfortable and happy and as stated above, it's like I've known you well, longer than the 3.5 months I've been here! You've helped my family and I find a place to live, great restaurants (my family and I love to eat), great places to visit to entertain my kids, a travel baseball team for my oldest son Anthony and of course, great karaoke so I can get my sing on! I will continue to ask for your advice on different things along the way and I know WITHOUT A DOUBT, you'll be there to answer whatever questions my family and I have! For that, I'm very grateful! Just wanted to take a few minutes to say THANK YOU for welcoming Me, my wife Sarah, and children Anthony and Benjamin with such warmth and kindness! We look forward to being a part of the community for a long time to come! Thank you for listening to 99.1 The Mix! I'm havin' a BLAST! Hope YOU are too! Sincerely, Mark Summers
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Invite Frogs and Toads into the Garden
Celebrate National Frog Month by inviting insect and slug-eating toads and frogs into your garden. Start by providing water. A pond at least 20 inches deep with gently sloping sides will work. Include water plants that provide oxygen, shelter from predators and weather and breeding sites. Include a few rocks or logs in the pond for basking and a few alongside the water for shelter. Build a rock pile in the garden. Select a location that receives sun and shade each day. Position the rock pile in more sun if your summers are cool and more shade if your summers are hot. Line the bottom with stones for added protection from winter cold and leave cavities between some of the bottom rocks for nesting, shelter and hibernation. Use a pipe 1 to 2 inches in diameter and less than 2 feet to create an entryway. A bit more information: Look, but do not touch the frogs and toads you attract to your landscape. Bug repellent, lotions and oils on your skin can harm these creatures. For more information see Oregon State University Extension's publication Attract Reptiles and Amphibians to Your Yard. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Grow Potatoes in the Garden or Container
What is white, red or yellow, can be eaten fresh, fried or even raw and is one of the most important staples of the human diet? If you guessed potato, you are right. Grow your own in the garden, planting bag or containers. You can plant small potatoes or pieces of larger potatoes to start new plants. These contain "eyes" that grow into potato plants. You may have seen this happen on potatoes stored in the pantry. Buy certified seed potatoes at garden centers or from garden catalogues. Cut whole or large seed potatoes into smaller pieces containing at least one good "eye". Plant them in a 2-3 inch deep furrow, 10 to 12 inches apart, leaving 24 to 36 inches between the plants. As the plants begin to grow, mound the nearby soil over the tubers until the rows are 4 to 6 inches high. Keep the planting weeded and wait for the harvest. A bit more information: Save space and have some fun by growing your potatoes in a planting bag. Fill the bottom few inches of the bag with potting mix. Set the potato pieces on the mix. Cover with several inches of soil. As the potatoes grow, continue adding a couple of inches of soil at a time until the bag is full. Harvest by dumping the bag and lifting out your potatoes. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Brown Needles and Leaves on Evergreens
A walk through your garden this spring may reveal browning on both needled and broadleaf evergreen trees and shrubs. Winter winds and sun, exposure to deicing salt and record low temperatures are likely the cause. Evergreens continue to lose moisture through their leaves and needles throughout the winter. The winter sun and wind increase moisture loss. Those gardening in areas with frozen soil are likely to see the most damage. But even those in warmer regions may see winter scorch on newly planted or exposed evergreen plants. We can't turn the needles and leaves green, but we can provide proper care to speed recovery. If the branches are pliable and buds plump you should see new growth this spring. Broadleaf evergreens will replace the brown leaves with fresh new growth. Brown needles will eventually drop and the new growth this spring may mask the damage. Wait for warmer weather to see what if any new growth appears. A bit more information: Once plants have started to show signs of new growth, you have a decision to make. Is the plant healthy and attractive enough to nurture and keep? Or, would you be better off starting with a new plant and one better suited to the growing conditions. A difficult decision, but one that can save you time, money and frustration in the long run. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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A Multi-Season Beauty – The Fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus)
Add seasonal interest and bird appeal to your landscape with the white fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus). This slow growing small-scale tree can grow up to 20 feet tall and wide. The slightly fragrant white flowers cover the plant in spring. The male plants produce slightly larger and showier flowers, but the female plants produce an abundance of blue fruit in late summer. Though the fruit is somewhat hidden by the leaves, the birds seem to have no problem finding and devouring it. But don't worry however as they won't leave behind a mess. The fall color can vary from a good yellow to a yellowish green. And the smooth gray bark become ridged and furrowed with age. Fringetree is hardy in zones 4 to 9, grows well in full sun to part shade and though it prefers moist fertile soil, it is adaptable to a much wider range of conditions. It can be found in nature growing along stream banks and the woodland edge. A bit more information: Use fringetree as a small tree or large shrub, as a specimen plant, near buildings, or in mixed borders as an understory. And be patient in spring as it is late to leaf out. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Daisy – the April Birth Flower
Celebrate April birthdays with a bouquet of daisies. This April birth flower symbolizes childhood innocence or according to the Farmer's Almanac they were given between friends to keep a secret. Many flowers share the common name daisy. It comes from the English name "days eye" referring to the fact many daisy flowers open during the day and close as the sun sets. Bellis perennis, known as English daisy, is most often designated as the April birth flower. It is hardy in zones 4 to 8, grows about 6 inches tall and flowers from spring through mid summer. You will find this plant listed as an attractive perennial or nasty weed. In the south the plants often burn out after flowering during the heat of summer. In cooler climates they are often dug after flowering to maximize enjoyment and minimize spread. The young leaves can be eaten in salads or cooked. A bit more information: Sweet peas are also considered the April birth flower. This is especially true in April. This flower represents modesty and simplicity. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Garden Longer with Less Aches and Pains – It’s National Garden Week
Avoid sore and strained muscles that often arise after a long day in the garden. A few simple changes in your gardening habits can keep you gardening longer and with fewer aches, pains and strains. Use long-handled tools to extend your reach and minimize bending and stooping. And if you need to get a bit closer to the ground, try placing only one knee on the ground or using a stool and keep your back straight. Keep your tools handy by wearing a carpenter's apron with lots of pockets or using a tool caddy. An old wagon, wheeled golf bag or trash can make moving long-handled tools a breeze. Use foam or wrap your tool handles with tape to enlarge the grip and reduce hand fatigue. Or better yet, invest in ergonomically designed tools with larger cushioned grips. They are designed to position your body in a less stressful position, allowing you to work longer. A bit more information: Further extend your energy by taking frequent breaks. Use sunscreen, wear a hat and drink lots of water. For more ideas, check out my 10 Pain-free Gardening tips. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Celebrate National Dandelion Day – It’s not just a weed
Stop, don't pull those pesky yellow flowered dandelions popping up in the lawn and garden. These beautiful flowers have not only been used as bouquets for mom and crowns for children, but have a long medicinal and edible history. On April 5th, Dandelion Day, celebrate the benefits and beauty of this perennial plant many consider a weed. You'll find this adaptable plant growing in a wide variety of locations. The name dandelion comes from the French "dent de lion" meaning lion's tooth. This refers to the leaves with their jagged tooth-like edges. Dandelions are high in Vitamins A, B, C and D and were used by Native Americans for kidney disease, swelling and skin problems. Harvest the young leaves in spring and add them to a salad or sauté with onions. Brighten up a salad with just the yellow portion of the flowers or ferment them into wine. A bit more information: Dandelions are also known as 'wet-the-bed'. This refers to the old belief that just touching a dandelion can cause bed-wetting. This may be tied to the fact that dandelions have been used as a diuretic. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Celebrate National Celery Month - Grow Your Own Celery Indoors or Out
Celery, an unassuming vegetable has long been used as a flavorful ingredient in soups, stews and casseroles. You'll also find it fresh on a relish tray or as a crunchy low calorie snack. Its value is being recognized and celebrated during April, National Celery Month. This long season vegetable is difficult to grow in many areas. The plants are slow to germinate and the young transplants will bolt if subject to cool periods. Grow celery in full sun with moist organic soil. Provide ample moisture and mulch to keep the soil moist throughout the season. Wrap or cover the stalks two weeks before harvest to blanch the stems for a milder flavor. Or have a bit of fun and grow some celery from kitchen discards. Next time you chop up a bunch of celery for soup or stew, save the base and grow a new plant. A bit more information: It's easy to grow your own celery from kitchen discards. Save the base of the celery in a shallow dish of water or bury the bottom half in a well-drained potting mix to root. Set in a bright location. Keep water in the saucer or the soil mix moist until new growth appears. Pot up and move to a sunny location. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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It's that time...
It's that time of year...ALLERGIES! This morning I walked my dog only to experience ichy watery eyes... So off to Walgreens I went to pick up Visine A eye drops...We are teaming up with Visine A eye drops to help me get some relief! Just a drop in each eye and aaaahhhh relief. So, if YOU experience allergies and want to get back to feeling normal...I recommend Visine A eye drops and get back outside and enjoy the things you like to do without looking like you're sick! NICE!
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Definitely Gonna Miss This Guy!
It's definitley time for David Letterman to retire, especially with Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel doing so well! But after I heard his announcement, I have to admit, I was a little sad, I'm a HUGE fan! Below is a picture of me in New York visiting my friend Shelby who was one of his writing interns this past year!
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Definitely Gonna Miss This Guy!
It's definitley time for David Letterman to retire, especially with Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel doing so well! But after I heard his announcement, I have to admit, I was a little sad, I'm a HUGE fan! Below is a picture of me in New York visiting my friend Shelby who was one of his writing interns this past year!
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