For The Love Of Coffee

Each of the mugs we had hanging around the house had some design flaw (and always a different design flaw) which made them difficult to drink from without occasionally getting some coffee spillage.

coffee-mug.jpgWhen Stef graduated college, moved home and began to work, Helaine started making coffee every morning. Even with Stef’s job finished (“Deal Or No Deal” produced their 130 episodes in the blink of an eye) Helaine has continued to brew coffee every day.

Now, instead of stopping at Dunkin’ Donuts on my way in to work, I bring my coffee in a thermal mug.

Do you miss me Dunks? We’re still using your beans, but I know you feel scorned.

I was going to say it’s pretty neat–except it hasn’t been neat for me. Who knew thermal mugs had so many design problems made worse by my personal klutziness?

Each of the mugs we had hanging around the house had some flaw (and always a different flaw) which made them difficult to drink from without occasionally getting coffee ‘spillage.’ Thank heavens no one see me at work.

Today Helaine handed me a new mug and though I winced a little when I saw how much they cost (I wanted to make sure they were available online before I wrote this), it seems to solve most mug problems!

  • The coffee’s warm
  • There was no dripping in the car
  • There’s a button which opens the drinking spout allowing me to get a good flow of coffee with none on my shirt!

It’s a Contigo mug which Helaine bought on QVC. I usually find QVC to be a higher priced vendor, but their service is unquestionably excellent and it was very convenient for Helaine to order there.

OK–this is not a total love fest. As with most mugs this one has a bad shape/height combo. In my car’s drink holder this mug is too tall… too top heavy. I don’t think it’s going to fall out, but I can’t guarantee that.

Isn’t the size of mugs and cups something that can be standardized?

Visiting Stef At Deal or No Deal

As a parent it was cool going around with Stef. Everyone seemed to know her and like her.

deal_or_no_deal.jpgNo work today. I have to turn around and work tomorrow morning for Gil who is recuperating from some scary problems which followed ankle surgery.

Have I mentioned, no work today?

With a lack of commitments this became the perfect time to visit Stef at work. She is working on the daytime syndicated version of “Deal or No Deal,” taping this season at Sonalysts in Waterford.

“She makes this drive every day?” I asked rhetorically as we drove past the Niantic/Flanders exit on I-95. It’s around an hour from home to the studio.

Sonalysts is an actual movie lot in Eastern Connecticut. There are large sound stages and an open California-like feel.

As it turns out this was also the day Francine–Queen of Hair, saw the show. She, her daughter and a friend joined us as Stef conducted the grand tour. We went up-and-down stairs, in-and-out of hallways from building-to-building.

We walked down the hallway with Howie Mandel’s dressing room. I know that because it said “Howie Mandel” on the door! Also, because Howie walked out as we were going by.

“He’s wearing a lot of makeup,” Helaine said. “You know about that,” she added while looking at me.


Most TV studios are smaller than they look at home. Not this one. The Deal studio is expansive with the audience surrounding the platform where Howie, the contestant and the producer’s phone stay. We sat down in the front, just a few feet from the action.

After a brief warm-up the show began. This is a well oiled machine. The show ran with a few tiny problems easily fixed in post-production. Though this is the 30 minute version the game ran much longer. Again, easily fixed in post.

During a commercial break Howie stood alone on a rise near my seat.

“Howie,” I called out, “Howie.” He looked up. If Stef would have been with me she would have crawled into a hole. I told Howie we had a mutual friend (Howard, best man at Helaine and my wedding) and mentioned I’d been on Buffalo TV while he was living in Toronto.

As a parent it was cool going around with Stef. Everyone seemed to know her and like her. She was treated as a grown-up. This part could not have been better for Helaine and me.

The show went really well. The audience does get drawn in, yelling for the contestant to take the deal… or not. I didn’t think it would be as emotional for me as it was. A young woman from Waterford who wanted to win enough to take her family to Italy won enough to take her family to Italy.

Alas, Stef’s TV career ends Friday when Deal finishes production after 130 episodes in Connecticut.