By Whitney Pastorek
Updated September 13, 2006 at 12:00 PM EDT

So I’m weighing in a bit late here with my thought’s on Ms. Vieira’s new gig, but it’s been nine whole hours since she was on TV, and in today’s constantly recycling entertainment culture, that means we have gone about eight hours too long without reminiscing about this morning.

Ah, this morning. I woke up with hope! And then I turned on the TV, and wondered if perhaps I was still dreaming. The whole “Meredith Vieira, This Is Your Life!” vibe was surreal to say the least — if you didn’t watch, go back and read Gary Susman’s live blog, and trust me when I say, yes, it was that bizarre — and it was fascinating to watch Vieira’s facial expression gradually get stuck somewhere between Miss America runner-up and Jim Carrey in The Mask. I imagine the entire experience was rather surreal for America’s New Katie as well, probably somewhat akin to having the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition crew remodel her house with a spaceship theme and replace her family with better-looking robot versions of themselves, plus Gene Shalit.

I’m not really all that interested in how she did as a “newswoman” — anyone who kisses up to Tim Russert that much will do just fine on morning news — and far more interested in whether I’ll be able to eat my cereal without throwing it at the screen; so far, it looks like breakfast is safe. She’s way prettier than I remembered, that’s for sure (so important to note when discussing women in any line of work!), and seemed remarkably at home during the scattered moments when she wasn’t having to fend off the unwanted advances of every single man who works at NBC (I’m amazed they didn’t wake up Brokaw and drag him down to 30 Rock to play with her hair). I think the best part was when they took her outside for the first time, and her face just lit up at all the housewives waving those little fans with her own face on them. That was Meredith’s rock-star moment, and she didn’t look like she was taking it for granted, not even a little.

Meanwhile, over at The View, Barbara Walters’s dog is apparently talking to her. Which life would you rather have?