Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Photos from Albany

So after Saturday's post, my most boring to date, I will now thrill you with... pictures from my daughter's baby shower party.

Holy crap, are you longing for the days when I posted about my mother's gall bladder surgery? Oh, humor me.

Here's the pregnant girl, three weeks before her due date.

My sister Lori and her family came up with some great presents.

You can't tell from the pic below, but Courtney's holding a tube of SPF 100 sunscreen. Court's so pale she makes Nicole Kidman look tan, and John's a redhead, so this baby's going to need that big time!

Remember my post about stuff white people like? If you recall, Bob Marley was #125 on the list.

That was from my niece, Marlee. I don't know who gave them this next shirt, but I have a feeling Baby Rice will be wearing it a lot.

This wasn't a boring girls-only shower; boys were invited, too. Here's my son, Christopher, with his girlfriend. Aren't they adorable?

They took this picture right after they cut my arms off, but I still managed to smile. I'm such a trooper.

Jeez, Connor's catching up with me. It's not like I'm short--I'm just under 5'5". Those are really tall people!

I have a lot to tell you about the great music show Saturday night and the cutest girl who sat next to me on the plane from Vegas to Albany. Next time. Today I'm back to "reality" and my gray cubicle. Weh. But at least I have some great memories to get me through the day!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fun time in the tundra

Having a great time in Albany, though actually I'm out in Rensselaerville right now. Yesterday was like 30 degrees and windy--so not the weather I love. The snow is gone in Albany, but out here in the Helderberg mountains there's still lots of it on the ground.

Had a great day with my boy Connor yesterday. I took him to see Diary of a Whimpy Kid, which made me laugh out loud several times. The nerdy kids stole the show. There was one part where I had to hide my eyes, though, because of the grossness factor. Then last night we watched the greatest movie of all time, What About Bob?

Tonight the kids have their gig and tomorrow's the baby party. I'll post pics when I get back. In the meantime, please accept my sincere apologies for what is undoubtedly my most boring post to date.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Heading back to Albany for a long weekend

It’s funny how many people emailed me after Tuesday’s post. Generally they wanted to know two things: 1) Has Mike been purged? and 2) Am I still in your rolodex?

No, Mike hasn’t been purged. We are definitely not together at the moment, but that’s happened more than once before. Something always pulls us back together, so who knows. Or maybe we’ve finally reached the end of the line. Stupid boys. I’m taking a break from all of them altogether for a while.

Are you still in my rolodex? Of course.

Later this afternoon I’m jetting off to Albany for a long weekend. My kids’ band, The Blackwell Sinners, has a gig Saturday night in a public radio-affiliated venue called The Linda. They, along with my son-in-law’s band, Red Haired Strangers, and a few others are part of the Roots Festival. There is almost nothing that brings me more joy than watching my kids play together! I believe their father (my first ex, Chris) and Courtney’s husband, John, are backing them up. Can’t wait!

Then Sunday is Courtney’s baby shower. Except it won’t be a boring-ass event where a bunch of women in floral dresses sit around and oooh and aaaah over cute baby stuff. No, this will be a beer-drinkin’ shindig. And boys are invited. (Boys aren’t really stupid—I was just kidding.) And there’s sure to be more great music.

This trip has been planned for a while, and the timing is perfect for me to get away. I can’t wait to get my hands on my precious grandson, Connor--the big brother-to-be. I’m glad I did all that purging; I could eat him up.

Yeah, getting away for a few days is definitely a good idea.

P.S. Thanks to those of you who came out for the "Meet the Authors" blogging panel last night at the Clark County Library. I love to talk to groups of writers, and blogging is near and dear to my heart. It's been a real joy.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Newsflash and spring cleaning, a.k.a. "Sticking my finger down the throat of life"

Here’s the newsflash part: After 22 shows, I’ve decided to call it quits on The D Words. Working a full-time job and doing four shows a week was stressing me out big-time. I was beyond my usual nutcase self, heading straight into mental territory. I’ll be forever grateful to Joe Lowers, the show’s producer, for giving me this fantastic opportunity but I can’t keep it up. Not at this pace. Perhaps the show will be resurrected in some other form in the future, but for now I need to step back. I know it’s the right thing to do.

Here’s the spring cleaning part: I’m not actually cleaning anything—I’m purging. Getting rid of shit, especially bullshit. There are certain people I’ve been patient with and certain circumstances I’ve put up with for a long friggin’ time because I’ve been trying to be a “hang in there” and “give the benefit of the doubt” and an open minded kind of person, which I can tell you is not my nature (but I have definitely come a long way). Maybe there’s something going on right now from an astrological perspective, but my tolerance for bullshit of any kind is at an all-time low and it's all going.

Yikes, don’t I sound mean? I’m actually feeling rejuvenated.

I want to make it clear that my show was not in the bullshit category; Joe Lowers is awesome and working with him has been amazing. The schedule, on top of my day job, was just wearing me out. Realizing I had to make that change brought into the forefront other changes that should be made, other areas where I realize I need to put myself first.

So in the past couple of days I’ve been purging mental, emotional, and physical crap from my life like a crazed bulimic. Deleting names from my cell phone and files from my laptop… going through drawers, cabinets, closets… on the prowl for items to get rid of and gleefully throwing stuff out. Every plastic bag I take out to the dumpster fills me with joy. I feel like I’m in a movie, dramatically sweeping everything off the table of my life with one swoop of the arm. Let things crash to the floor; who needs that shit anyway? It’s awesome.

And now for something completely different...

Here are some pics from last Saturday night. Two of my blog readers, Drew and Eric, came to my show and afterward they invited me to a party in a suite at the MGM. I met Drew last year and was delighted to see him again. Eric's a great guy, too, and I'm not just saying that because I love Jews. He's nice as hell.

Here's me and Eric. What a kick-ass view, huh?

Look, Hurricane Mikey was there, too!

I'm a lucky gal. No doubt about that.

Gotta buy more plastic bags.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

They want education cuts? Start with gym class.

Last Tuesday the Clark County School District posted this survey asking parents, students and taxpayers how the district should handle its $123 million budget shortfall. The district’s goal is to make the cuts with as little impact as possible on student learning. Some of the options they offer are to increase class size, reduce expenditures on textbooks and instructional supplies, eliminate sports and extracurricular activities, and do away with behavioral/alternative schools and school police (!).

If I were queen, I’d say get rid of gym class. Not across the board; let the kids who are into sports continue to play. I get the whole cooperation/team building thing.

No, here’s what I propose: have all kids take a physical fitness test. If they pass, they’re off the hook and don’t have to endure the torture of gym class. I hated gym (I almost didn’t graduate from high school because I skipped it so often) and the dykey gym teachers hated me back because I was all girly and didn’t want to play boys' sports. I was already physically fit from years of ballet—why did I need to learn the rules of basketball? Please.

So, yes, I would have passed the fitness test. But these days we supposedly have a national childhood obesity problem and that’s because kids need to get away from computer and TV screens and play outside until the streetlights go on. So what should we do with those kids who wouldn’t pass a fitness test? I agree they should be physically fit, but subjecting them to the humiliation of being the last one picked on a team for a game they don’t care to play is hardly the answer. These kids would be better served in a gentle calisthenics or yoga program, a program not led by someone with a whistle around their neck, but by volunteers who want to instill self-esteem in these kids, not destroy it.

Okay, so we eliminated a bunch of P.E. positions. On to math.

Basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division—that’s all you need. Unless they want to be carpenters or math teachers, why make kids take dumb-ass classes like geometry and trigonometry? I have yet to find use in everyday life for a friggin’ sine, cosine, or tangent. Most people just need to learn how to figure a 20 percent tip for wait staff in a restaurant (though you can get little cards to keep in your wallet with those calculations). And if something is 40 percent off at Macy’s, it’s good to know how much you’ll need to come up with at the register. (But if you shop at Ross, they put the discounted price right on the sticker.)

Come to think of it, after I learned to read, write, and do basic math—which I pretty much had down by third grade—and considering the knowledge I actually retained into adult life, I bet the remaining nine years of schooling could have been condensed into a semester or two. Lots of opportunities for cutting back there.

How about you? Any thoughts?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

In another month I'll be a run-of-the-mill granny

Hey, check out this picture of my daughter, Courtney. I stole it from her Facebook page.

Doesn’t she look gorgeous? Simply gorgeous, I say!

We still don’t know if Baby Rice is a girl or boy, and Courtney and John have not shared the names they’ve selected, which I think is smart. Sometimes you tell people the name you picked out and they react with a face that looks like they just had a throw-up burp. Then, of course, they have to tell you the name they love, as if you give a crap. Nope, best to keep that info to yourself.

I can’t wait to see this kid, whatever it is and whatever it’ll be named. One thing’s for sure: since Court’s a tad over 5’10” and John’s about 6’2”, there will be one long and lean new person roaming this earth.

You know what’s weird? I was a young mother (two kids at 21) and became a grandmother at a young age, too—I was 41 when Connor was born. But I’ll be 52 when Baby Rice comes along; that’s totally old enough to be a grandmother.

Wow, I’m going to be just a regular old granny.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. I was back at the Pioneer Saloon again last Sunday; this time raising hell with two bikers and an ex-Chippendale dancer.

Just a little something to tell my new grandchild…

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The show's a bomb, but a marriage ref is a pretty good idea

So I think we’re all in agreement that Jerry Seinfeld’s new project, The Marriage Ref, is simply terrible. But hold on… let’s reconsider the idea. Maybe there's something to salvage.

Picture this. After extensive interviewing and upon mutual agreement (that’s key), a couple hires a person to be their marriage ref. Every time the couple has some sort of marital problem that they can’t work out for themselves--and as soon as they realize they’re at an impasse--they call their ref. Each spouse has a specified timeframe, let’s say no more than two minutes, to present their case. After hearing each side, the ref rules for either the husband or wife and that’s the freakin’ end of story. Each side has to accept the ref’s ruling.

No backtalk, no arguing. Live with it. Move on.

Think of how much time would be saved—no more playing out the same goddamn arguments over and over and over. You want to bring this up again? You really want to call the ref for this AGAIN? Think of the kids that would be spared having to listen to their parents’ constant bickering or worse, screaming at the top of their foolish lungs.

And think of all the marriage counselors that would be put out of business. Really, why would anyone bother sitting through hours of hours of expensive therapy with some bespectacled, diploma-ed idiot spouting shit like, “So you never felt you earned your mother’s approval” when they could be having incredible make-up sex within five minutes of pressing their ref’s number on speed dial?

I swear, people, I’m on to something.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Marriage Ref and why I long for TV of yesteryear

Tough crowd for Thursday night’s show. Actually, the audience was good, there was just one drunk woman in the back who I was ready to kill. Fortunately, I have some experience in dealing with the inebriated, so it wasn’t a major problem, just more of an annoyance. Last night’s audience was fabulous, though, and more than made up for it.

Anyway, when I got home Thursday night, I poured myself a glass of wine (fancy me, huh?) and while channel surfing landed on The Marriage Ref, NBC’s new show produced by Jerry Seinfeld. What a train wreck. Three celebrities provide counsel to married couples with some weird friggin’ problem presented in a video and the host, who acts as the ref, considers their input before making the call for one side or the other.

Ordinarily I’d blast right past such inanity, but I had to watch because on this night the three celebs were Larry David, Madonna, and Ricky Gervais. As you know, Larry and Ricky are my all-time favorite comedic geniuses, and Madonna… well, she’s Madonna. But what a waste of such incredible talent! Are they really deciding whether or not a woman should be allowed to keep her dead husband’s prosthetic leg (still wearing a tube sock, by the way) in the closet she now shares with a new husband?

Sure, they’re laughing, but you know they’re crying inside. Ricky even said something like it was the most bizarre hour of his life, and you know the only reason such big names would do this is because of Seinfeld.

God help us, the drek they’re serving us on network TV. Remember when shows actually had a storyline, written by professional writers? Between the reality shit and lazy crap like this, I long for the good old days.

Remember thirtysomething (1987 – 1991)? I loved that show! How freakin’ cute was Gary? Remember how sad it was when he died?

Now about Picket Fences (1992 – 1996)? Quirky as hell, but well done! And didn’t you just adore Northern Exposure (1990 – 1995)? Janine Turner was my sister Lori’s celebrity girl crush for years until she found out she’s a super-Republican. Now it’s Queen Latifah.

NYPD Blue (1993 – 2005) was groundbreaking in its early days. Remember seeing Andy Sipowicz’ ass? What a character he was. Every Tuesday Christopher and I had this goofy mother-son bonding routine.
Me: “It’s NYPD Blue night, asshole.”
Chris: “I know, douche bag.”
More recently, I loved the show Once and Again with Sela Ward, but that didn’t last long (1999 – 2002). Now the only drama that gets my attention is Rescue Me, but honestly I wouldn’t give that a second look if it didn’t star Denis “Get-out-the-whipped-cream-and-handcuffs” Leary.

How about you? Do you wonder why you’re paying an astronomical cable bill when there’s not a goddamn thing on? What shows do you miss? Is there anything worth watching?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Even children get older…

When looking for the photo of Courtney channeling The Jerk for her Happy Birthday post, I came across so many pictures of her and her brother, often in some kind of embrace. She and Christopher are less than 13 months apart and they’ve always been very close.

Have you ever heard Joni Mitchell’s song, “Circle Game”? The chorus goes like this.
“And the seasons, they go ‘round and ‘round.
And the painted ponies go up and down.
We’re captured on the carousel of time.
We can’t return, we can only look behind from where we came.
And go ‘round and ‘round and ‘round in this circle game.”

The passage of time freaks me out, people.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

More things I couldn’t make up about Courtney, in honor of her 31st birthday

Yes, Courtney Blackwell Rice is 31 today! I should say that her brother turned 32 just three weeks ago, but since Christopher’s a private kind of guy, I let him enjoy his day out of the spotlight. Court, however, is more “out there” like me (the acorn didn’t fall far from the tree), and so there’s no way I’m passing up the opportunity to roast her a bit.

If you've read my previous posts about my daughter, you know she's a trip and a half. Today I want to share some little known tidbits about our girl's early years.

1. Courtney wanted only one thing for her kindergarten graduation: a slave.

2. I swear she used to yank her teeth out just for the bounty from the tooth fairy. She’d want something in the store and if I said no, then lo and behold, the next day she’d present a tooth so she could buy it with her own money.

3. When she was a tiny kid in the car seat, she'd push her little plastic horn and shout, “Beep, beep, asshole!” I don’t know where she learned that.

4. A few years later, I heard her say, “You asshole children!” behind her closed bedroom door, and in the most authoritarian tone. I busted in to see what the hell was going on to find her in one of my dresses standing at her chalkboard. “What?” she asked, so innocently. “I’m just playing school.”

5. As you can see, one of Courtney’s favorite pastimes was to re-enact the classic “And that’s all I need” scene from The Jerk.

Happy Birthday, angel! (Or, “angle” as you would spell it.) I love you!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Craig's List ad I couldn't wait to share

Another post, Linda? You don't post on Sundays!

I know, but my blues-playin', harmonica wailin' BFF Rockin' Billy sent me this Craig's List ad and I couldn't wait to post it. Any musicians out there will particularly get a kick out of this.

Tired of your old lady complaining about your drumming?? - $5 (Las Vegas)
Well, you'll welcome her screams of disgust once you hear these piece-o-shit high hats being played! I have the shittiest sounding pair of high hats ever made. I think the fuckers stealing the recycling bin contents I set out melted some old beer cans down and made this pair of crap. If you play these, you will pray that your wife's (or husband's) vocal complaints will drown out the "wounded duck" schrills that these tin circles put out. Yes I do have them, yes they are for sale, but hopefully you'll use them as a prop to dress up a girl in some bullshit wannabe abstract "Lady GaGa" costume for Halloween. If your looking for an upgrade to these high hats, then search "fingernails on a chalkboard". These fuckers make my dogs put on cans to kill the sound. I will gladly take in trade an unopened 40 oz of one of the following; Old E, Mickeys, St. Ides, Crazy Horse (if you can find it)... 64 ouncers get first reply. If you actually contemplate using these high hats in any facet of music composition, I'm not gonna mind. I'll just laugh at your crap-ass high hat sound while I drink the 40oz you traded me for. Now if you have a kid that could marginally be interested in drumming, has a set, minus the high hats, then this is for you (added plus if your kid is at least deaf to higher register sounds).

Funny, huh? Imagine if he had a profile?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I know, I know… more about my friggin’ show

Do I sound like Dr. Suess or what?

Okay, I know my blog has been all about my friggin’ D Words show lately, but I’m on this never ending quest to inspire you to share your own talents with the world, and so I must share my lessons learned.

At this point, I have 13 performances under my belt, and it wasn’t until number 8 that I feel the show found its groove. Remember how I was ready to quit after my 2/25 show and then the next day I made some changes and knocked it out of the park? So on 2/26, I launched what I consider to be The D Words verson 2.0. Not that 1.0 absolutely sucked; I got lots of positive feedback an encouraging review in www.Living-Las– In fact, one couple came to see the show twice within those first weeks (!), but I knew it just wasn’t there yet.

God willing, there will be a v3.0 and 4.0 and who knows how many incarnations down the line as I consider how I can make the show better and better. That’s all part of the creative process. When I look at the early days of this blog, it’s obvious that it took me a while to figure out what it was going to be. (Do any of you remember the grammar lessons I used to post?!) And believe me, the early drafts of Bastard Husband look nothing like what ended up in book form!

Oh, how I love my Ricky Gervais!

My sister Lori says that when a creation is fresh out of the birth canal, you’re gonna have to wipe some shit off. My point—and my advice to you—is don’t put off starting a project because you’re afraid it won’t be perfect. It will gradually evolve into what you want it to be, as long as you continue to work on it.

I saw this post on Facebook today from my comic friend John Hilder. He’s from Utah (and therefore has a wealth of material—ha!) and is a fine comic and truly nice guy. He'll be at The Riviera Comedy club next week--check him out if you have a chance.

John Hilder is not sure what would be more painful: Getting stabbed repeatedly for 30 straight minutes or bombing on stage for 30 straight minutes. I just did the second one so if anyone would like to come stab me for a half an hour or so for comparison's sake let me know.
Yep. That’s just gonna happen.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Are you cloggin’ your toilet with a hundred dollar meal?

You know I’m a picky eater, right? You’ve heard this before—I was 18 before I tried cream cheese and 36 before I got the nerve to down a chick pea. You couldn’t pay me a thousand dollars to eat a banana, or ten thousand to chew on a stalk of celery. There’s food I won’t touch with a 10-foot fork just because I don’t like the sound of it, such as sushi, soy, guacamole… the list goes on.

So remember the luncheon I went to last Thursday, where I heard Marie Osmond speak? We all had a menu in the middle of our table setting. Not a menu as in “you have a choice of what you want”; a menu as in “this is what you’re getting.” I stopped reading after I saw this list of appetizers.
Petite Tarte Tatin of Mission Fig
Crispy Leek with Goat Cheese and Pomegranate
Forest Mushroom, Roasted Yellow Tomato, Wilted Arugula
I don’t know what the hell “tarte tatin” is, but let’s add “fig” to the list of things I would never eat unless they’re forcing it down my throat in a POW work camp. Leek? No. Goat cheese? No way; I don’t like the sound of goat anything. Pomegranate? No idea what it is, but I don’t like the sound of that, either. Yellow tomato? That’s just plain wrong; tomatoes are red. And God know what arugula is, but I have a word for wilted food: garbage.

You can see why the fancy-schmancy restaurants don’t do it for me. I once returned gazpacho because it was cold—my sister Lori will never let me live that down. I’m sorry, but soup should be hot.

Fine dining? You can have it. I look at a hundred dollar meal and think of all the cute little tops I could buy at Ross-Dress-for-Less. Give me a big-ass plate of chocolate crepes at the Pancake House in Green Valley Ranch—that’s what brings me joy! Or how about this awesome meal my brother, brother-in-law and I enjoyed Monday night at my favorite cheapskate casino, Ellis Island?

Meat, potatoes, and vegetable—that’s a meal I can understand! It also came with soup and a delicious microbrew. All for $6.99.

This may sound gross, but let's face it: food is just future shit. Drunken cipollini onions and tomato confit with sauce berre rouge will be flushed away in a matter of hours, but my cute little Ross Dress-for-Less tops will be hanging in my closet for a good long time.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

First review of "The D Words"

Hey, it check out--I got my first review of my show, "The D Words: the Funny Side of Dating, Divorce and Other Delights" in

I know what you're thinking--Can that really be an objective review? Didn't Linda used to write for that site? You are correct, but believe me, Megan Edwards, the woman who wrote the piece, is a pro; if she hated it, she'd find a diplomatic way to say so. (THANK GOD she didn't take in last Thursday's show, but who knows, maybe some other reviewer did. Fingers crossed for NOT!)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Some pics and a YouTube link

What am I going to do when I get home from work tonight?

My mother and Lori came on Wednesday, February 17, and then Lori’s husband, Russ, and my brother, Steven, got here last Wednesday--literally passing Lori in the air. The boys leave this afternoon and so tonight will be the first night in two weeks that I’ll have to myself. No show tonight, no nothin’.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I love having visitors, but man, I tend to eat and drink a lot more when people come to town. I had about four pieces of pizza Sunday night at Metro Pizza. (Real good, Linda.) Here are Russ and Steven hamming it up.

You know Russ from previous posts, especially this one about his and Lori’s 20th anniversary surprise, but I don’t talk about Steven much, do I? OMG, he is the cutest, funniest, most awesome bro on earth! (He sent me flowers for my opening night—how sweet is that?) Steve’s 9 years younger than I am and is the only brother with four sisters. Guys who have a lot of sisters are the best; I think they turn out nicely when they’ve grown up surrounded by all that female energy. Do you agree?

Is he adorable or what?

Russ’ brother, Rob, and his wife, Liz were also in town last weekend and they all caught my show Saturday night. Fortunately, it was a good one—I’d say even better than last Friday. (I’m still feeling shitty about Thursday night, though. Gotta shake it.) Anyway, here I am with Liz. The last time I saw her was at Lori and Russ’ wedding. She's nice as hell.

Mike met up with us after my show and we all went to Boulder Station for my all-time favorite classic rock tribute band, Yellow Brick Road. I had a few beers that night, and while the boys were at the NASCAR race on Sunday, I had myself a little “couch day” complete with a glorious nap. And as luck would have it, Saturday Night Fever was on. Oh, yeah.

I’m still friggin’ beat, though. I’ve been going, going, going for two straight weeks. So what am I doing tonight? In the words of Edwin Starr, “Absolutely nothing.” (Who gets that?)

P.S. As promised, here’s a YouTube link to a video Lori took during my show when she was here. Don’t worry—the whole show isn’t just me reading from Bastard Husband, and I’ve been adding more of my stand-up material lately. I don’t have a good video of that stuff yet, though. I’ll post it when I do.

Oh and remember, the camera adds 10 pounds. No, make that 20.