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C.J.

Columnist | The Dish
phone: 612-332-TIPS
C.J. is a columnist in the Star Tribune's Twin Cities section. Her column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
Recent content from C.J.
C.J.: 'Ubered' author Evan Kail riding high after finding publisher

C.J.: 'Ubered' author Evan Kail riding high after finding publisher

Evan Kail, the author of “Ubered: My Life as a Rideshare Driver,” has found himself a book deal with Texas-based Black Rose…
C.J.: Twins behind King Brothers Clothiers have book about passion for fashion

C.J.: Twins behind King Brothers Clothiers have book about passion for fashion

The more time I spend with King Brothers Clothiers owners, twins Danny and Kenny King, the less red and blue they become. To…
C.J.: Vanessa Williams embraces a new interpretation of 'Save the Best for Last'

C.J.: Vanessa Williams embraces a new interpretation of 'Save the Best for Last'

Vanessa Williams’ aspirations never included becoming a beauty queen. That’s one of the many revealing tidbits from her book “You Have No Idea,” which…
C.J.: Multitalented Vanessa Williams tells why she stays so grounded

C.J.: Multitalented Vanessa Williams tells why she stays so grounded

Vanessa Williams’ breathtaking beauty might be her least interesting attribute, I can report after interviewing her in November at Evine, the Eden Prairie-based online…
C.J.: Jokes take shape when comedian/magician David Harris takes stage with contortionist Cheryl Birch

C.J.: Jokes take shape when comedian/magician David Harris takes stage with contortionist Cheryl Birch

As soon as I downloaded the video of the comedian/magician and the contortionist, it was obvious that she should’ve been standing on a chair.…
C.J.: Kim Insley has shed no tears since being dropped after 24 years by KARE 11

C.J.: Kim Insley has shed no tears since being dropped after 24 years by KARE 11

“Mornings were such a fun day part,” said Kim Insley, the former KARE 11 “Sunrise” anchor who was dropped by the station in…
C.J.: The Blenders will harmonize at "Holiday Soul Tour" at Pantages Theatre

C.J.: The Blenders will harmonize at "Holiday Soul Tour" at Pantages Theatre

Tim Kasper, the Florida member of Minnesota’s Blenders, plans to get back into the local mix again by buying another place here. “I haven’t…
C.J.: Actor found way to win over producer who harassed him

C.J.: Actor found way to win over producer who harassed him

With a little psychology, actor Adam Ambruso survived being sexually harassed by a male Hollywood producer.
C.J.: Comedians mine their memories for Minjares/Pepitos fundraiser

C.J.: Comedians mine their memories for Minjares/Pepitos fundraiser

Louie Anderson is apparently saving his funny Joe Minjares story for the Nov. 25 comedy benefit to raise money for Minjares’ medical expenses.…
C.J.: A 10-year-old's upcoming art show mixes Legos and fashion

C.J.: A 10-year-old's upcoming art show mixes Legos and fashion

The 10-year-old St. Paul boy makes bow ties with Legos.
C.J.: Patrick Fabian says Howard's duds suit him well on "Better Call Saul"

C.J.: Patrick Fabian says Howard's duds suit him well on "Better Call Saul"

Patrick Fabian plays someone a lot less in control in "Driver X" than Howard Hamlin, the "Better Call Saul" character who inspires strangers to…
C.J.: Variety's Elizabeth Wagmeister also serves up the dish on "Page Six TV"

C.J.: Variety's Elizabeth Wagmeister also serves up the dish on "Page Six TV"

Variety reporter Elizabeth Wagmeister has the kind of pleasant delivery that must make it easier for an interview subject to entertain tough questions.…
C.J.: 'Blood Stripe' film a family affair for Remy Auberjonois

C.J.: 'Blood Stripe' film a family affair for Remy Auberjonois

There was room to add the talents of René Auberjonois, Remy's father.
C.J.: Chris Shaw, Fancy Ray get serious about raising money for Lone Survivor Foundation

C.J.: Chris Shaw, Fancy Ray get serious about raising money for Lone Survivor Foundation

The self-proclaimed “Best Lookin’ Man in Comedy” and a comic “rat” from the Adam’s Pest Control commercials were repeatedly upstaged by an accidental audience. I…
C.J.: Ex-Viking, retired Justice Alan Page might not kneel but identifies with Castile

C.J.: Ex-Viking, retired Justice Alan Page might not kneel but identifies with Castile

On Halloween, when retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page passes out candy, some trick-or-treaters might think his pinky looks odd just to entertain…
C.J.: Retired Justice Alan Page and daughter put love, learning and family into children's books

C.J.: Retired Justice Alan Page and daughter put love, learning and family into children's books

Retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page uses real life in his children’s books, but he’d prefer not to use his real life.…
C.J.: Richard Painter works the nerves of some GOPers the way he once tickled the ivories

C.J.: Richard Painter works the nerves of some GOPers the way he once tickled the ivories

Republican political pundit and University of Minnesota law professor Richard Painter is not conservative enough for some in his party. The regular on MSNBC,…
C.J.: Richard Painter laments Trump, lack of GOP action on guns

C.J.: Richard Painter laments Trump, lack of GOP action on guns

“So. Ask me any questions you want!” said Richard Painter, the U corporate law professor and network TV political pundit who’s all over the…
C.J.: Radio reporter April Ryan says Hillary took the high road when the campaign was a street fight

C.J.: Radio reporter April Ryan says Hillary took the high road when the campaign was a street fight

In Part 2 of my interview with American Urban Radio Networks correspondent and CNN contributor April D. Ryan there’s a great tease for her…
C.J.: May the Force Field blanket keep those monsters out of your kid's room

C.J.: May the Force Field blanket keep those monsters out of your kid's room

A Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $25,000 was at $96,000 Friday.
C.J.: Flap with Sean Spicer doesn't faze April D. Ryan: 'They think they can scare me'

C.J.: Flap with Sean Spicer doesn't faze April D. Ryan: 'They think they can scare me'

April D. Ryan thanked me for interviewing her? “I am thrilled to be on the phone with you. I am so happy…
C.J.: Camille Williams is no fashion match for husband, KARE 11 co-anchor Cory Hepola

C.J.: Camille Williams is no fashion match for husband, KARE 11 co-anchor Cory Hepola

KARE 11 weekend anchor Cory Hepola is the household fashionista, and his wife and co-anchor, Camille Williams, couldn’t care less. Since…
C.J.: Minneapolis-born singer Ava Raiin aims to reign on charts plus, maybe, art galleries

C.J.: Minneapolis-born singer Ava Raiin aims to reign on charts plus, maybe, art galleries

Imagine being at an art show where the artist leaves the invited guests to take the stage and sing. Entertainer Ava Raiin could do…
C.J.: TV writer Matt Goldman writes crime novel set in – wait for it – Edina

C.J.: TV writer Matt Goldman writes crime novel set in – wait for it – Edina

Goldman will be at Once Upon a Crime at 7 p.m. Sept. 14 to read and sign copies of his first crime novel "Gone to Dust."
C.J.: Gorgeous actor Chris Massoglia is hoping his third kiss will be his first real one

C.J.: Gorgeous actor Chris Massoglia is hoping his third kiss will be his first real one

The Minnesota native is co-starring with former "American Idol" contestant Moriah Peters in "Because of Grácia."
C.J.: Sheletta Brundidge's trip to Houston for grandmother's funeral turned out to be a whirlwind

C.J.: Sheletta Brundidge's trip to Houston for grandmother's funeral turned out to be a whirlwind

The devastation in Houston caused by Harvey hit very close to home for Cottage Grove’s Sheletta Brundidge. A native of Houston, Brundidge was there…
C.J.: Docu filmmaker Joe Brandmeier finds humor a key to healthy marriage

C.J.: Docu filmmaker Joe Brandmeier finds humor a key to healthy marriage

He jumped out of his comfort zone behind the camera to produce the "I Do?" inspired by a rough patch in his 28-year union with Joan Steffend.
C.J.: Former KSTP anchor Mark Suppelsa leaving Chicago's WGN 'at top of his game'

C.J.: Former KSTP anchor Mark Suppelsa leaving Chicago's WGN 'at top of his game'

It’s time to share, instead of privately cherish, the interview I did four months ago with former Twin Cities anchor Mark Suppelsa. Last week…
C.J.: Brenda Langton has a milliner for a daughter

C.J.: Brenda Langton has a milliner for a daughter

Celina Kane’s career choice had to be creative. The daughter of restaurateur Brenda Langton and artist Timothy Kane is a milliner…
C.J.: 'Fool Me Once' singer Lindsey Webster is set to play the Dakota

C.J.: 'Fool Me Once' singer Lindsey Webster is set to play the Dakota

Billboard's 2016 smooth jazz artist of the year is performing with Minnesotans Stokely and Shaun LaBelle.
C.J.: Jesse Garcia IV is living the advice his late police officer dad gave

C.J.: Jesse Garcia IV is living the advice his late police officer dad gave

Bethel College student Jesse Garcia IV is headed off to the LA Film Studies Center, a collegiate adventure that probably would have delighted his…
C.J.: Minnesota's Samantha Harris is hosting summer run of 'Culinary Genius'

C.J.: Minnesota's Samantha Harris is hosting summer run of 'Culinary Genius'

The Hopkins High alum and former host of "Entertainment Tonight" and "Dancing With The Stars" has a show featuring home cooks that debuted Monday.
Owner of dogs shot, wounded by Minneapolis officer has a thing or two to say

Owner of dogs shot, wounded by Minneapolis officer has a thing or two to say

Jennifer LeMay says life "has been complete hell for three weeks."
C.J.: CBS correspondent/author/dad Jeff Pegues explores race and policing

C.J.: CBS correspondent/author/dad Jeff Pegues explores race and policing

The former KMSPer has finished a book, "Black and Blue: Inside the Divide between the Police and Black America," and is already busy on his second.
C.J.: Pepitos owner/comic Joe Minjares has seen some antics in 45-plus years at restaurant

C.J.: Pepitos owner/comic Joe Minjares has seen some antics in 45-plus years at restaurant

Joe Minjares can prepare anything on the Pepitos menu, but he could’ve never cooked up many of the scenes that occurred at the Mexican…
C.J.: Director Tom Simes has faith in 'Because of Grácia,' starring Minnesota's Chris Massoglia

C.J.: Director Tom Simes has faith in 'Because of Grácia,' starring Minnesota's Chris Massoglia

Massoglia plays an insecure high school senior dedicated to not calling attention to himself who gets drawn out by a new student played by Moriah Peters of "American Idol."
C.J.: Actor, Pepitos owner Joe Minjares reflects on life and love as lung disease advances

C.J.: Actor, Pepitos owner Joe Minjares reflects on life and love as lung disease advances

Joe Minjares seems mostly happy despite pulmonary fibrosis, which has advanced from the diagnosis six years ago to the point that he needs a portable oxygen tank.
Alan Gorrie says stamina, great tunes help Average White Band beat averages

Alan Gorrie says stamina, great tunes help Average White Band beat averages

The Average White Band is the headliner at the Lowertown Blues & Funk Festival in St. Paul’s Mears Park on Friday and Saturday. After a…
C.J.: Lou Nanne suppressed many an urge to slap a sports reporter

C.J.: Lou Nanne suppressed many an urge to slap a sports reporter

The hockey great was looking great after recent hip surgery.
CBS' Jeff Pegues writes about the gulf between blacks and police

CBS' Jeff Pegues writes about the gulf between blacks and police

The KMSP-TV alum clearly enjoys tackling books as heavy as his average 14-hour workday.
C.J.: Back in Minnesota, Louie Anderson should be safe from Galifianakis pranks

C.J.: Back in Minnesota, Louie Anderson should be safe from Galifianakis pranks

Comedian's new show mines his Fitbit, family and more.
C.J.: Floor director Tim Niccum leaves Fox 9 for better hours

C.J.: Floor director Tim Niccum leaves Fox 9 for better hours

He is leaving Fox 9 to work for BlueEarth Innovation, a Web development firm in St. Paul.
C.J.: 'The Q,' a humble talk show host who wants to earn an appearance on "Wendy"

C.J.: 'The Q,' a humble talk show host who wants to earn an appearance on "Wendy"

“The Q’s” mom lived to see her son achieve the career goal he has harbored since age 12. “I wanted a talk show,” said
C.J.: Nekima Levy-Pounds enjoys campaigning with baby on board

C.J.: Nekima Levy-Pounds enjoys campaigning with baby on board

Minneapolis mayoral candidate Nekima Levy-Pounds has felt energized as she hits the campaign trail — while expecting. She and her entrepreneur husband,
C.J.: 'Chocolate Rain' and its many memes bring sweet success to Tay Zonday

C.J.: 'Chocolate Rain' and its many memes bring sweet success to Tay Zonday

“Chocolate Rain” singer Tay Zonday was in the metro recently working on a Best Buy project. “A small project with Best Buy’s internal production…
C.J.: Broadcaster Marcia Fluer talks love, marriage, depression

C.J.: Broadcaster Marcia Fluer talks love, marriage, depression

Pavek Museum Hall of Fame broadcaster Marcia Fluer, who also had a career teaching U personnel how to handle the media, should be in…
C.J.: Fox 9's "The Jason Show" is getting its second national test

C.J.: Fox 9's "The Jason Show" is getting its second national test

This month it will air in the test markets of Orlando, Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix, L.A. and Fox affiliates in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
C.J.: Twin Cities' Chef Marshall serves up Smart Nutrition Solutions

C.J.: Twin Cities' Chef Marshall serves up Smart Nutrition Solutions

Chef Marshall O’Brien was full of insights into a consumer trend that perplexes me: businesses that package ingredients for meals to be cooked at…
C.J.: St. Bonifacius native gets a diploma and a little Oprah time at college graduation

C.J.: St. Bonifacius native gets a diploma and a little Oprah time at college graduation

Sarah Eiler cannot attest to whether Oprah is a good hugger, despite accidental research during the Agnes Scott College commencement in Decatur,…
C.J.: Stokley is reaching for a new 'Level' of fame apart from Mint Condition

C.J.: Stokley is reaching for a new 'Level' of fame apart from Mint Condition

Stokley is getting more recognition from people who are on his “Level.” The drummer and vocalist for Mint Condition has gone solo with…
C.J.: Remember Peter Thiele from AM 1500? He misses Minnesota and hates Dallas Cowboys

C.J.: Remember Peter Thiele from AM 1500? He misses Minnesota and hates Dallas Cowboys

The guy who worked at KSTP (1500 AM) for nearly nine years and left Minnesota in 1996 has popped up videoconferencing comments for TMZ's TV show.
C.J.: PACER headliner Jay Leno definitely won't be a potty mouth at the gala

C.J.: PACER headliner Jay Leno definitely won't be a potty mouth at the gala

Here is Part Two of my interview with Jay Leno, the headliner at Saturday’s PACER Center gala. You have plenty of time to read…
C.J.: PACER headliner Jay Leno is happy he doesn't have to do political humor on TV these days

C.J.: PACER headliner Jay Leno is happy he doesn't have to do political humor on TV these days

"I never questioned anyone's patriotism; I just questioned their judgment," he says in the first of a two-part interview.
C.J.: Strange has been liberating for Barry Bostwick's long, less than "Rocky" career

C.J.: Strange has been liberating for Barry Bostwick's long, less than "Rocky" career

“Rocky Horror Picture Show” royalty Barry Bostwick will introduce a midnight screening Saturday at the Riverview Theater. The movie’s Brad Majors is scheduled to…
C.J.: YA author Jenny Han wants to nudge door open for more diverse books

C.J.: YA author Jenny Han wants to nudge door open for more diverse books

Young adult lit darling and outspoken advocate for diversity in children's literature Jenny Han is making an appearance at Har Mar Mall's Barnes…
C.J.: Monster cookie maker Tina Rexing offers a 'special' T-Rex batch for Snoop Dogg

C.J.: Monster cookie maker Tina Rexing offers a 'special' T-Rex batch for Snoop Dogg

NBC's "Today Show" has showcased her cookies fit for a dinosaur, and more exposure might be coming.
C.J.: Proud papa Orenstein says writer Peggy learned early to stand her ground

C.J.: Proud papa Orenstein says writer Peggy learned early to stand her ground

New York Times bestselling author Peggy Orenstein had to withstand parental pressure to pursue a law career. As she was about to graduate…
C.J.: The Little Gym aims to put the play back in kids' sports

C.J.: The Little Gym aims to put the play back in kids' sports

The franchise aims to create quality kids, not athletes.
C.J.: Shaun LaBelle hopes to ride 'Wave' to another platinum seller

C.J.: Shaun LaBelle hopes to ride 'Wave' to another platinum seller

Multiplatinum smooth jazz record producer Shaun LaBelle says that releasing singles only, instead of albums and EPs, looks like the new normal in…
C.J.: Rented RV was just the ticket for the Brundidges' vacation with three special-needs children

C.J.: Rented RV was just the ticket for the Brundidges' vacation with three special-needs children

Sheletta Brundidge didn’t know how prescient her decision to travel via RV on a family vacation was until that video of a TSA…
C.J.: Ben Tracy doesn't think he'll need the fire gear in Asia, his new CBS assignment

C.J.: Ben Tracy doesn't think he'll need the fire gear in Asia, his new CBS assignment

CBS’ new Asia correspondent Ben Tracy is scheduled to be in North Korea getting familiar with one of the hot spots on his overseas…
C.J.: Carleton-educated Andrij Parekh is eye behind gloriously shot 'Zookeeper's Wife'

C.J.: Carleton-educated Andrij Parekh is eye behind gloriously shot 'Zookeeper's Wife'

The cinematographer for "The Zookeeper's Wife," starring Jessica Chastain, grew up in Wayzata and graduated from The Blake School and Carleton College (1995) before…
C.J.: Author Peggy Orenstein talks about how bad Kardashians are for girls' self-esteem

C.J.: Author Peggy Orenstein talks about how bad Kardashians are for girls' self-esteem

Sound Minnesota values and research for books such as "Girls & Sex" don't make bestselling author Peggy Orenstein a fan of the impact…
C.J.: Philanthropic Delta flight attendant knows how to make connections

C.J.: Philanthropic Delta flight attendant knows how to make connections

When Richard Moody isn’t working as a Delta cabin manager on international flights, he’s busy connecting. He is a passionate connector of people for…
C.J.: WCCO-TV's original 'Good Question' anchor Ben Tracy is headed to China for CBS News

C.J.: WCCO-TV's original 'Good Question' anchor Ben Tracy is headed to China for CBS News

Minnesotans had the privilege of watching Ben Tracy work during the run-up to his current stature as a CBS News correspondent. The St. Paul…
C.J.: Former newsie Roxane Battle's 'Pockets of Joy' may get deeper

C.J.: Former newsie Roxane Battle's 'Pockets of Joy' may get deeper

Woman’s Club of Minneapolis guests who hear Roxane Battle’s speech Wednesday will meet the former TV newswoman for the first time, so to speak.…
Guitarist/fireman Sam Breckenridge is used to getting his hands dirty

Guitarist/fireman Sam Breckenridge is used to getting his hands dirty

Every time I open a package of hand warmers, fingerstyle guitarist Sam Breckenridge comes to mind. He’s the nephew of satirist Lizz Winstead, co-creator of…
C.J.: Frank Kramer of 'Dish Nation' claims Porsha Williams isn't high-maintenance. Riiiigght

C.J.: Frank Kramer of 'Dish Nation' claims Porsha Williams isn't high-maintenance. Riiiigght

“Dish Nation” cast member Frank Kramer took the Minneapolis Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Minnesota last weekend. Kramer is one of seven DJs taped…
C.J.: Fine to call her 'Prez,' says Hamline University's new leader

C.J.: Fine to call her 'Prez,' says Hamline University's new leader

Others might balk, but Hamline University President Fayneese Miller is fine with being referred to as “The Prez.” “It does not bother me. What…
C.J.: Jeff Passolt's broken hip may not allow a speedy return to Fox 9 anchor desk

C.J.: Jeff Passolt's broken hip may not allow a speedy return to Fox 9 anchor desk

Fox 9 anchor Jeff Passolt and his broken hip were motoring around his home pretty well behind a walker the day I interviewed him.…
C.J.: Filmmaker Keith Black shows romantic side in the short "Celebrity Sex Tape"

C.J.: Filmmaker Keith Black shows romantic side in the short "Celebrity Sex Tape"

Keith Black is persistent. The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based math teacher and moviemaker e-mailed me with “an intriguing and humorous pitch regarding my short comedic film,…
Rodeo 'pickup man' Jeff Rector riding high in Minnesota

Rodeo 'pickup man' Jeff Rector riding high in Minnesota

Jeff Rector is working the dream job of many kids. He’s a cowboy. He has the dangerous job of rodeo pick-up man. If you…
C.J.: A professor's documentary gets to the bottom of the N-word

C.J.: A professor's documentary gets to the bottom of the N-word

What is your first or most memorable experience with the N-word? Southern Connecticut State University journalism professor Frank Harris III went around America asking…
C.J.: Fox 9 meteorologist Ian Leonard faces cancer with grit, blog

C.J.: Fox 9 meteorologist Ian Leonard faces cancer with grit, blog

Fox 9 meteorologist Ian Leonard is starting to look camera ready now that he’s completed chemotherapy on his face. He’s due back at the…
C.J.: Pro bull jumper pumps up Cinch World's Toughest Rodeo

C.J.: Pro bull jumper pumps up Cinch World's Toughest Rodeo

There was man jumping over a bull last week when Cinch World’s Toughest Rodeo stopped by St. Paul’s X. Imagine a matador without a cape…
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