Love, Faith and Family

I have spent time in jail and prison. I sat across from a guy who had plastic zip ties, duct tape, sex toys, and a shock collar among other supplies inside his van. Some of the charges filed against him… confinement and battery. A lawyer chuckled after he heard what the man had admitted to me in the exclusive jailhouse interview. I believe that was my first story on FOX59.

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Gone Fishin’

annkeilIt’s a big smile after a ridiculous 24 hours that felt much like Russian Roulette.

Okay, okay.. maybe I am being a bit dramatic, but hear me out. Flying these days is not the same. I remember thinking it the other day, saying it, and then I realized that I had cursed myself. I could not fly out of Indianapolis.

In the end, a complaint was filed against a rogue airline employee who took me off a flight for a reason beyond my understanding or the airlines. I had checked in, my ticket said 1A, but I was booted. A reality I was unaware of until the following morning when my attempted ticket reprint failed. I was on another flight, or rather, two flights said a surprisingly unpleasant airline rep who had rudely interrupted a conversation I had been having with her coworker.

Farewell direct flight and hello unforgiving, airplane bathroom stench post full speed run in heels pre-6 a.m.

I should also tell you the airline delayed then cancelled my original flight the night before minutes before we were supposed to board. As I walked back out of the terminal, there it was, a long line full of unhappy people who were told to call the airline to avoid the ugly in person encounters that were coming anyways. I furrowed my brow and internally tapped my foot realizing that every moment I waited in line meant someone else was getting a seat I so desired.

Then, the man standing in front of me gave me a big smile and asked me out on a date. I had been so focused on being the next in line as I intently watched my only line of communication dying before my eyes after a worthless call to an agent in a far away land, that I had to read his lips as he nervously pitched his feelings. The whole thing felt a bit blurry. He got some serious points for being a man unafraid to put himself out there.  It’s a rarity. These days you get text messages about real life and feelings. Still, he had what you call very bad timing, and I thanked him for the very nice compliment as I headed towards a newly freed up agent.

I would get a new plane assignment, that would only prove temporary, as I mentioned before, a coupon for an airport hotel even though I am a local, and a warning that paying the day rate to park at the airport was going to be a must. Where was the positive in this equation?? Oh, right, I actually knew where I had parked!

Still, I was not a happy camper. I was going to miss an important appointment and the reason for my trip.

The next day, on flight two, after minimal sleep, I finally laughed. It was hard, but my seat neighbor quickly revealed her special gift: open-mouthed, sunflower seed chewing then purposeful regurgitation of the bird seed into a barf bag… lips to bag every sixth or seventh seed. I counted to see if she was conscious of this repeated act of crazy, and I wondered what the bag would look like if it was dusted for prints. Undoubtedly, it would keep any forensic expert busy. Then, I closed my eyes and pictured something dreamy, specifically one of my favorite things, and I made it happen.

Rental boat. Check.

Squid and shrimp for the picky palettes.  Check.

My old fishing grounds. Check.


Nine Zero

She is allergic to grass, flowers, and the outdoors? She loves the celebrity obsessed magazines and lengthy conversations about his uncle’s, father’s boss who married her on [insert specific date, time and location]. They now have [insert number] kids who are living in [city1] and [city2]. She is a strong woman who talks about her battle with breast cancer as if it were a cold. “Never mind that,” she says, as she reappears in another colorful pantsuit with a perfectly matching scarf. Her Chanel lipstick always in tow… She is sharp as a tack, and she is the classic beauty she always was.

He is a retired military man and dentist turned farmer with property in Pennsylvania that he may love more than his own bedroom. Vegetable growing, tractor duties and woodworking… all favorites. He’s also a longtime docent at a Washington, D.C. museum because of his vast knowledge of pre-Columbian Art and English gardens. He explored the Amazon several years back in search of the rarest orchids. His knowledge base is extraordinarily large. Pick a topic minus i.t., and he has it covered. His button ups are almost always blue in color, and his pants remind you that he probably did more hardcore cardio than you did this week. A little dirt won’t kill you.

They’re married, by the way, and my grandmother, Charlotte, just celebrated her 90th birthday! Grandpa Dave is 92.

They’re hilarious, together and a part.


They make me think about marriage, then and now. What made them say, “I do” on September 25, 1943?



I am pretty sure I have learned as many lessons about relationships in their company as I have from my own personal experiences. They can be tough, but they are everything, aren’t they? So, once you snag a good one, hold on tight!

Love thy ‘selfie’

Selfie (n): a picture you take of yourself; if you’re an amateur, like me, your arm is in it no matter what you try unless, of course, you’ve used a mirror or it’s this close up.

Exhibit A.annkeil

How many of you have taken one? Come on. I see you smiling now or laughing at me…

I couldn’t help myself.

I often crack up as I flip through my long list of social media accounts.  There is always at least one ‘selfie’ per hour, AND the alternative, which is almost always a picture of a delicious meal. Are we obsessed with food too, or are we that busy at work that food has become that much more exciting?? I’m confused and strangely intrigued.

I just signed up for Instagram after fighting it for quite some time, and guess what I found? More of the same…

I have to admit I have taken a picture or two of my Tupperware lunches. For some reason, I simply get a kick out of opening the lid, and just waiting for my photographer to say something, anything. When I eat clean, I tend to cook up a broccoli, egg-white combination, and it smells awesome. (No, it doesn’t.)

I’ve even taken it as far as a chopped, raw vegetable mixture from my favorite organic grocery store. Hours later, my photographer and I angrily searched the live truck for whatever rotting food someone left behind. That is, of course, after we had looked at each other inquisitively for a few minutes as if to say, ‘Is that you? It couldn’t possibly be!’

I love those moments.

I had accidentally bumped the veggies when I jumped into the truck, and the plastic container opened on its own. Oops! I swore… never again.

So, if it’s not already obvious, I have not impressed anyone with a gorgeous meal, but I did just take care of that. I captured my first authentic, eight course Japanese dinner. One of the diners was a Pescaterian so we stuck to seafood. No complaints from this Miami native even with fish liver on the menu. You have to try everything at least once as long as it’s not going to kill you, right? As for my ‘selfies’… I’m a work in progress.

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An Easy Dream

annkeilI miss outdoor exercise, and I’m not talking about using a busy, bike path.

This winter, in Indy, has been BRUTAL. Yes, the word is deserving of all caps. I thought certain people were exaggerating when they called last winter ‘mild.’ I used to laugh and say, ‘sure,’ and I’d think to myself, I survived more than three years in Boston. I can take it!

But… there’s always a but. Right?

But… I miss the sunshine on my face as I work up a real sweat. The gym gets old. It always has, actually. Yet, it’s often the only option when your local weatherman is promising a ‘wintry mix’ over and over again, and you work long hours. As a result, my reality is often a bar over my head with heavy weights on each end way too early in the morning for me to even form a proper sentence. My inner thoughts are something along the lines of, ‘lift or get clobbered.’

I much prefer the natural movements, the workout, you can get outside in the fresh air. You don’t have to tune out the top 20 radio station blasting from a countless number of speakers or the smelly man working out next to your machine who is wearing jeans?! Yes, I have had several sightings.

So, lucky for me, my waistline, and my sanity, a very good friend, who is living the California dream, invited me to the West Coast. We hiked, did a little bit of climbing, and I loved every minute of it!

Southern California is an easy dream… even in March. Proof?


I also snapped a few nature shots.

It has been a little while since my creative juices have flowed. Plus, it gave me a good excuse to take a breather… just for a second, of course. (gasp)


Fishy Hands


I spent hours with some of the most beautiful animals I had ever seen. Word of choice: majestic.

But they “gotta eat.” (Checkers commercial nod. Yes, I’m a dork.)

So… When I arrived at work, my first priority was breaking a part a block of chum, that was nearly the size of a double sink, with my bare hands and some hot water. Working at a ‘mini Sea World’ is not as glamorous as you’d think. I smelled bad, and my hands, that were cut up from sharp scales and bones, smelled of fish, always.

So, I relied on lemons.

They were my new best friends until I became a waitress. I still have a secret hatred for condiments to this day. I cut dozens upon dozens of lemons at the beginning of each shift that often turned into a double so I’d leave covered in a bit of egg, some kind of fried meat, and beer.  The tips were great though! Especially from the business men who tried to nonchalantly slip into the gentleman’s club next door after their meal during their lunch hour. Maybe they were practicing. Lol.

A designer sunglass store also employed me for a bit. What were they thinking? I am not the best salesperson, but I did enjoy heating the sunglass frames with some crazy contraption in the back of the store so that they would actually fit a customers face nice and snug. I convinced myself it was a craft, and it was the far better alternative than rubbing fingerprints off the countless pairs of glasses on display, which was one of my main duties.

And now, I’m in TV news…something I’ve told you all about already.

Here’s what I think… regardless of what you do, focusing on the little things… the little victories.. the little bits of enjoyment as you work your butt off is your best bet.

It’s called work for a reason. It’s not supposed to be fun all of the time or even at all, but working through it is key. There is nothing better than finally landing on your couch after a long day at work and feeling that sense of pride and fulfillment.

You worked hard, it looked good, and you got paid. Now, for some sleep…. well, a little sleep. I’m always craving a little more one-on-one time with my mattress, and I fear I’m not alone.

Fancy Schmancy

My first trip to Detroit was inspired by lawn seat tickets to a Lauryn Hill concert many moons ago.

My second trip…  involved a chair up against the door of a hotel room that I definitely did not book. It was a layover gone wrong, very wrong. The airline, which I will not name, because I’ve likely cursed all of them by now, also assumed that I’d appreciate an indoor pool with enough chemicals to take out a zoo. I instead used my towel as a barrier between my very tired body and the bed.

And my third trip, ah…

The North American International Auto Show is as cool as it seems. I’m not even a ‘car person,’ but wow! Each hunk of metal is something special, falling somewhere between art and architecture. I just had to touch one or two. The smile came naturally.

It was a last-minute, “Hey, lets follow the Indianapolis Mayor up there.” The mayor wants all city vehicles to rely on alternative fuel technologies by 2025. In fact, he signed an executive order requiring that almost every new car or truck purchased or leased by the city has an electric or plug-in hybrid engine. I was shocked.

There is even a conversation about converting plow trucks and fire engines so they’ll rely on compressed natural gas instead of diesel. I’m interested to see what’s next, but for all of you who may not be as interested, here is a peak at a few more cars that caught my eye. Some are even green or could be if they were mass-produced.


My favorite: Cadillac Ciel
Photo caption: ‘Better than a Boyfriend.’

The NAIAS opens to the public tomorrow at the Cobo Center.

In a Nutshell

annkeilMonday through Friday can quickly become interesting, shocking, scary, plain boring, frustrating, inspiring, pleasantly heartwarming or all of the above. The news biz is something else.

I love asking, “Can I come by… now?”

Some of you are quite busy. Some of you desperately want the p.r. Some of you graciously rearrange your schedule and round-up the troops in minutes. Some of you introduce us to your oh-so-unfriendly dog. I thought that only happened to the mailman!

If you happen to see us coming… I get it… the microphone, the microwave truck, the video camera with that little red light that tends to make people recheck their teeth for lipstick, straighten their tie a bit or just run, but, hey, we’re keeping you informed! Plus, why not spice up your day and help us out? Likely, you’re interview victim number …. and we’ve already put some serious miles on the road in one of these bad boys. I also say please most of the time!


They may look big from the outside, but eight hours in the box can make you want to throw something or yourself out of the window. Kidding, of course… You just need to laugh off the stress, the long hours, the deadlines….

Here’s a sneak peek. I took my camera with me the other day. We have several different units. In this one, I can charge two phones at once and my laptop! When I hop in, oh, the delight. Yes, I can be easy to please. The back-end is tight, and it can get hot, so I’m told. I usually have to peel myself off the passenger seat at the end of the day, and collect all of my things. I have a special way of unloading everything each day. Just call me prepared!


There are about five or six different photographers who work the day shift, and they gladly accept their fate with one of us. When I’m chatting you up, this is what I see.fox59

This is what our ‘photogs’ see. Poor Bayette  has to get low for me sometimes.


And… let’s not forget my makeup room/office/lunch table…. that I mentioned before. I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I have mastered black, waterproof, liquid eyeliner in the dusty mirror of a very bumpy, top-heavy vehicle going 55, 60. Yes, I know, genius.

So… not so glamorous but always an adventure. A desk and fluorescent lights just wouldn’t do, and neither would 9 to 5.


Butterflies and Rainbows

annkeilI was trying to think back to the time when I realized life was.. well life. It can get ugly fast. I remember joking with one of my friends the other day, saying, “why didn’t our parents tell us this???” It was one of those moments where you laugh hard, stop and think “hmm, this is some kind of awful.” I can even visualize my own facial expression.

I know you know what I’m talking about.

But, all joking aside, when we’re talking about the real stuff, there is no question some of us experience life too early. Innocence… just taken.

I can think of countless children I’ve reported on and one baby in particular. Her mother left her with an old friend from high school and her boyfriend, who were house guests/temporary babysitters. The baby’s father thought his child had diaper rash at some point soon after. It wasn’t. It was genital warts. The little girl, who was six-months-old when the crime was reported, had been sexually abused by the couple, and that was not all.

I’m now sitting here wondering what that child’s life will be like. Will she never know? Will she learn the horrifying details of the abuse in an article online years from now? It makes me think that perhaps being one of those people who never allow themselves to fully grasp reality are not completely off base. If they don’t accept it, then they don’t have to deal with it. Then, again, the pain, the devastation and the loss can make us better and push us harder to leave a positive stamp on the World… IF we work through it. It doesn’t even matter if that circumstance was the result of our own choice or someone else’s.

At some point, we’re all victims. We just get to decide if we will live as victims or survivors.

All of this… in my head after a trip to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami. You can walk into a large atrium full of butterflies and orchids. I immediately saw a certain grin on so many faces, young or old, it didn’t matter. I started to picture some of the adults as innocent children as the butterflies fluttered overhead and even landed on his hat or her hand.

Gone were the feelings of real life… just for a few moments, which are always allowed, and it felt good.





Let’s Fly Away

planeI thought I might as well opt for co-pilot off the bat. At least I could watch and listen if we happened to plummet thousands of feet. Little planes have always made me a bit nervous, or rather the thought of them, so an 8-seater was no exception. I think of two words: ‘tuna can.’ Or maybe three… ‘airborne tuna can’

Then, again, how do you say no? You have to get your kicks somehow. The pilot, who flies for a major airline, is a friend of a friend, and he offered to give us a ride in his so-called ‘toy’ (not ‘tuna can?!’)


Thankfully, the weather cooperated. What fun!


In just over an hour, we were in Nashville, Tennessee, and I felt my southern accent coming back already. I only lived in Tennessee for three-and-a-half years when I was working for the ABC affiliate WATE-TV, but that twang was contagious!

Great first trip to Nashville. Live music should be a part of everyone’s life

… as long as I’m not a part of it. I was forced on stage to hit a few drums with the professionals this weekend. Why they picked me, I do not know. Embarrassing moment number 153,854,933,874.

I assumed they’d just expect me to do a little dance. Instead, I was trying to balance on a stool… in a dress… with my legs crossed… on a raised stage using my right hand. I’m a left-handed, randomly shy woman who last touched a musical instrument in middle school. Remember those plastic recorders?? Like I said…  embarrassing moment number 153,854,933,874.