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It’s a New Day

I’m down to the final week of school—I feel like this is one of the busiest weeks ever. I already caught myself this morning doing exactly what I preach against—wishing time away. I said to my mom, “I’ll be so happy when it’s next Monday night.” But no. I will be so happy today. Instead, I will be so relieved when it’s Monday night. In the meantime, I will be bursting with joy as a give an oral presentation on Thursday, take a final on Friday, submit a 25 page paper on Monday, and then take another final on Monday—from 6:30 to 9:30 pm—why so late? And in the meantime, I am planning a beach bonfire retreat for Friday and moving out of my sorority house. Oh yeah…and a daily blog post.

I’m sorry for my venting—I’m just a little overwhelmed. It is on days like today that I repeat my mantras:

“Everything happens for a reason.”

“Hakuna Matata.”

There’s many more but alas the political correctness of the blogosphere world prevents it. Let’s just say I put my faith in a higher power. Well, what the heck I’ll say it anyway:

“In God all things are possible.”

One of my best friends always sends me great quotes and they add something extra to my day. Enjoy:

“This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind…let it be something good.”

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

The Purest Form of Happiness

I heard it said last night that older people are happier. I beg to differ. Don’t get me wrong, I hope they’re just as happy but yesterday was a day of childlike wonder and I find that to be much happier than worn out elastic pants and less than tights toupees. Children experience happiness in its purest form—in all its simplicity, innocence, and perfection.

I was reminded of this yesterday when our family spent time with our two cousins who are proudly representing the not-so-terrible two’s and the fantastic four’s. They’re the cutest kids full of sheer joy and wonder. They spread happiness wherever their little Crocks go and they bring so much happiness to our family.

Here are some ways to get in touch with your inner child, whether you’ve got one of your own or it’s the last thing on your mind (which, no offense, but that’s the boat I’m in):

1. Watch some classic Disney: It was pretty comical watching 50 year old men fight about watching Aladdin versus The Little Mermaid yesterday. And Dumbo still won out because the four year old “said so.” But it gathered our family together and it was fun taking a trip down memory lane.

2. Go for a swim–in the pool: Yes, we may all be Jacuzzi junkies but how often is it that we actually go swimming in a pool? Not very often for me but I was so glad that I did. We have to keep moving in that cold water rather than just sitting around in the hot tub. Try to figure out that metaphor, friends. Deep, I know.

3. Eat ice cream cake: A childhood favorite. It actually tasted better than I remembered it.

4. Play with puppies: Just like humans, they’re so much more precious when they’re young. (Sorry to burst your bubble everyone but crow’s feet just aren’t as cute as baby feet.) We played with a baby chocolate lab yesterday and it just about melted my heart.

5. Play ball: Whether it’s just rolling a bounce ball back and forth, it’s so good for us to interact with others. It doesn’t matter if it’s NFL status (my little buddy couldn’t catch a ball if she tried—granted my pitches weren’t the best), all that matters is that it’s fun.

I’m not suggesting you starting wearing Disney Princess panties again or build a Nascar race track around your kitchen. But I do think it’s good to remember what it’s like to be a child, and how much darn fun it can be.

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

Going for the Gold with Barbara Donahue

I had the opportunity to meet with a lovely woman in the sports broadcasting industry. You name it, she has done it. The Olympics, Super Bowl Championships, and even frog racing (apparently that exists)—Barbara Donahue has done it. She graciously invited me into her home so that I could hear about these fantastic experiences. Not to mention, letting me hold two of her 13 Emmys and the Olympic Torch may have made my day. No, I take that back—it totally made my day. Ms. Donahue is an inspiration—she is evidence that there are no limits to what we can accomplish. I hope you’ll enjoy her interview; it’s a great trip down memory lane while simultaneously offering precious advice for the current media industry. Enjoy!

You have produced multiple Olympics broadcasts. What about this experience brings you happiness?

The travel is wonderful. All the people you meet when you travel. What’s really fun, honestly, is that whenever we go anywhere in the world, I always know at least somebody. Television is a very small world—you always know somebody that knows someone else.

You have won thirteen Emmys. What award are you most proud of and why?

The one third from right (as she points to one of her 10 Emmys on display)—my older son took it to show and tell when he was five years old and he dropped it and broke it. I love that it’s broken. It was for the 1984 Olympics. Even though it’s broken, it’s by far my favorite.

What is your happiest memory?

Let me think, that’s hard. There are so many. It’s a lot of fun, honestly. When in Sarajevo, we were a little bit lonely so ABC flew over John Denver to do a concert for us. I also enjoyed bar hopping in Lake Placid with the men’s bobsled team.

Who’s your favorite athlete to work with?

They’re all great. Actually not. I work more with announcers—who are usually athletes that are retired. My least favorite with OJ (Simpson). Howard Cossell is an icon in the business. He was incredibly difficult to work with. If he liked you, life was wonderful. If he hated you, you wanted to die. Incredibly tough. Jim McKay, Al Michaels, Keith Jackson. You have to keep them in check as a producer to keep them calm, and give them information that they need.

How’d you get in business?

It was a different world. I loved sports and I met the right person at a party.

What has been your favorite project to work on?

Olympics, specifically equestrian venue. I’ve done it 4-5 times and I was a rider myself. I have a natural affinity to talk about it more.

What is your favorite sport to film and why?

It used to be football for sure. Now I love basketball, but that’s because I live in LA.

What reality TV shows have you been apart?

I did “The Contender,” “So You Wanna Move Back Home Again?” “Deadbeats” (tracking down parents who don’t pay child support), and “Garage Sale.” They’ll all be coming out soon. NHL and NFL going on strike so I’m turning to reality TV.

What’s your opinion on the professional sports strikes?

They’re gonna do what they’re gonna do. They’ll lose money, but all the periphery industries are gonna take a hit. There’s much more room for reality programming.

What has been your biggest challenge and how have you been able to overcome it?

My biggest challenge, truly, is having two kids with an inordinate amount of travel and hours. Try doing live on air with an 18 month year old. The kids were a part of this, they weren’t going to be raised by anyone else.

Your kids have enjoyed the process?

They love the travel. But if they’re sitting at home, they don’t wanna go to a court side Lakers game. They’ve been around it their whole lives.

How much time do you spend on your job?

It’s a minimum of 10 hours a day. But it’s fun. Sometimes it’s researching. I’m working; I’m not always sweating bullets.

I didn’t go to school for this, I fell into this. I’ve loved sports my whole life, but I was political science major. You couldn’t train for it. The network hated kids that were trained; they wanted to train you to do it their way. It was like they wanted you to admit you had no idea.

Do you think it’s that way today?

It’s really unfortunate today—you need amazing credentials. And then you have to do it their way. It’s not about knowing how to do it; you need to know the stats, the story of the game, the players.

But it’s really hard to get into. Sports is small. It’s like going to the same little playground every day.

What would you say for college students interested in getting into production?

Seriously define what area you want to get into. They’re dramatically different. News is the polar opposite to sports which is very different from entertainment. They’re specialties. If you can do one, it doesn’t mean you can do another. There is a bigger edge with sports because there are two things in life you can talk to anyone about; sports and kids. They are the two great equalizers. Everyone plays some sort of sport.

What is your favorite movie that you’ve worked on?

Meet Joe Black. I got to meet Anthony Hopkins, he was lovely. Very dear and patient.

Who’s been your favorite person in the film industry to work with?

Bruce Willis is just really funny.

How would you define success?

A couple of different ways. The number of Super Bowls, the number of Emmys,  the number of Olympics. Not sure I’d define it that way. I’ve done some ridiculous events; I’ve even done frog jumping events in Angels Camp, California.

I strongly suggest to experiment and try everything  cause it’s a really long life. And you’re working a lot of years, a lot of hours. If you’re paid a million dollars and you hate what you what you’re doing, it’s going to be a miserable experience. It’s great to make good money and everyone wants to ; to have the niceties in life, nice houses—but you can do both.

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook


The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook
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