Friday, April 30, 2010

Three things that can't wait until tomorrow's post

1. If you're looking for freakin' AWESOME Italian food in Las Vegas, check out The Sicilian Caffe. Last night I had dinner there with a friend and it was heavenly! I was like, I don't care if I gain 10 pounds from this meal, it's worth it. Okay, that's a lie; if I ever gained 10 pounds from one meal, I'd be padded-cell freaked out. But you get the picture.

The Sicilian Caffe is on Tropicana, just east of Pecos. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but the inside is comfy and quiet--great atmosphere for intimate conversations. Ask if you can get Casey as your waitress; she was wonderful. Dammit--doesn't it figure I find a place like this two weeks before I leave town?

2. I'll back on the radio tonight at 7 p.m. (Pacific time) as a guest on Grogan's Tavern, the Irish pub of the radio airwaves. Tune into KLAV 1230 AM or listen online at

3. Here's another picture I stole from Courtney's Facebook from the "Hazey" album. Hazey--they're calling her Hazey!

This is one of the few photos of her awake--Courtney says she's a good, sleepy baby. And look at the length of those fingers! No wonder--Court's 5'10" and John's about 6'3".

DON'T MISS TOMORROW'S POST! I'll be announcing my next project and YOU can be in it.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What crazy thing have you Googled in the past 24 hours?

Tuesday night my dear friend Kri and I had a delicious, and I mean freakin’ delicious corned beef and cabbage dinner at McMullin’s Irish Pub. YUM! Anyway, as we were sipping our beers, she mentioned that earlier that day--for some reason I don’t remember--she Googled Jesus.

Not wanting to blow perfectly good Guinness out my nose, I swallowed and then burst out laughing. “You Googled Jesus?” But then I thought, hold on. Earlier that afternoon I did a crazy Google search of my own: “Welch’s grape juice kids.”

Not to sound mean, but the kids in those commercials scare me. Joe, my 25-year-old BFF and gray cubicle cellmate, totally agreed with me. There’s something wrong with them, we concluded. They’re like miniature adults in kids’ bodies. Alien adults, all from the same mold. Where do they find these kids? We had to know. So I Googled them.

So what crazy thing have you Googled lately? (I’m not saying Jesus is crazy.) (Just some of the people who follow him.) (Oh, snap! I totally didn’t expect to go there.) (But you know it’s true.)

Come on, fess up! What’s been in your search field?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Purgefest 2010’s next victim

I woke up in darkness around 4:30 this morning. The cool breeze from the palm trees outside my open window was just enough to make me grab the comforter and snuggle in. Aaaah, another two hours before I have to start my day. I can lie here and drift back to glorious sleep… what could be better?

Looking across the bed and seeing someone I love, that’s what.

Single life, after seven years I am sick of you. You’re the next to go.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Do you trust dentists?

I have a friggin’ dental appointment at 7:00 this morning. What a way to start the day.

It’s just a cleaning, but I’m dreading it as much as a root canal. I hate going to the dentist, and it has nothing to do with the pain factor; I have a pretty high tolerance and rarely get Novocain. No, the problem is, between my dentist and her staff, I always walk out of there feeling like I’ve been insulted. Remember a few months ago when I posted this little gem of an exchange?
Hygienist: “Your overbite is really bad. Have you ever noticed that your top teeth completely cover your bottom teeth?”

Me: Oh, really? I never noticed that, you stupid fucking moron. I only look in the mirror a hundred… no, make that two hundred times a day. Thanks for clueing me in.”
That’s what I’m talkin' about. Or this.
Hygienist: “You have a lot of fillings.”

Me: “Oh, really? I was wondering why dentists were drilling away in my mouth all those times. Thanks for clearing that up (you stupid fucking moron).”
They can never just clean my teeth and be like, “Good job!” They always find something that could go wrong and maybe give me a problem someday.

I’ve always had one of those mouths that’s required a lot of dental work. And the thing is, God only knows how much of it was absolutely necessary. I’ve come to believe that dentistry is extremely subjective; you can get a treatment plan from one dentist and the next one will say, “No, no… you don’t need that done; you need this done.” That actually happened to me a few years ago when I took a treatment plan from a dentist in Vegas to my old dentist in Albany; their opinions were totally contradictory. (My dentist in Albany won out.)

Is it me or do you, too, feel dentists have us by the balls? Like if we have a medical problem, we’re all over the Internet, right? We march into the doctor’s office armed with our research and a million questions, telling them how to do their jobs according to our demands. But with dentists, we’re at their mercy. How do we know if those fillings really do need to be replaced, or if that root canal must, in fact, be done? We just open our mouths like idiots and let them have their way with us.

This has been bugging me for a while. What do you say?

Monday, April 26, 2010

This is what I love to hear!

I received this message yesterday. Totally unsolicited--I didn't pay him off or anything!

There's nothing like knowing your creation is appreciated.
Just finished your book and I feel as if we could meet as old friends, sit down and have a heart to heart intimate conversation. I could ask questions about how everyone is in Albany and Vegas and then tell you about my life, realizing only later that you don't know a damn thing about me. But then, I would want to pour my emotions out to you, as you did to me in the book, as if we were on the phone together for the past few days.

This quality is the mark of a superior writer, who has the guts and courage to bare all down to the skeleton, boobs included. It begs people to write and ask how these memorable people, so vividly portrayed by your pallet, are, and want to know if they have a page on Facebook.

A memorable bestseller worth a couple of reads.

Borneo Tom
By the way, how are your creations coming along? You know I love to nag you about sharing your gifts, but when you get feedback like this, it's totally worth it.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Would you rather do things or have things?

As Purgefest 2010 continues, I realize I have very few possessions that really mean much to me. Sure, if something happened to my collection of Ross Dress-for-Less tops, I’d be a little bummed, but hell, it would take only about 50 bucks to replace the whole lot.

I used to have a Green Valley Ranch wine glass that I loved, and was pissed when I accidentally broke it. I'd bought two of them for my mother one Mother’s Day, and Mom even offered to give me one of hers, but I said, “No, just leave them to me in your will; that way I’ll have something to look forward to when you die.” Well, one of hers broke a while ago and then the other day she called to say the other one broke, too. So yeah, there goes my friggin’ inheritance.

Other than my fake dog, Stiff, the only other things I’m really attached to (now that I no longer have my Saturn, but I still see that in the parking lot at work every day) are my decorations and my jewelry.

And my fridge magnets. Here’s the top half.

And the bottom.

I started this collection about 10 years ago with Bastard Husband. We did a lot of traveling, which I loved.
My refrigerator makes me sad. I counted them today—thirty-three magnets, souvenirs of our trips together, representations of the good life.

Some came from cities: Seattle, Montreal, New Orleans, Auckland. Some from more obscure destinations: Jerome, Arizona; Taos, New Mexico; Deadwood, South Dakota. Then there’s our national park collection: Arches, Joshua Tree, Rocky Mountain, and our old neighborhood playgrounds, Bryce and Zion.

Whenever I get a bowl of ice cream, which is now four times a day—two during my soap and two whenever the hell I want—I’m reminded of the fun we had traveling together. Are those days truly over?

-- p.55, Bastard Husband: A Love Story
My travels with B.H. are over, but since I wrote that I’ve found other people to travel with and have doubled my collection. Oh, how I love to travel! I know you’re supposed to stay in the present moment, but I’m a planner and I especially love to plan road trips. I don’t need stuff. I’ve already had a house for my kids to grow up in. And now that they’re grown, give me the open road any day!

How about you? Would you rather have things or do things?

And by popular demand, here’s the latest picture of Hazel I stole from my son-in-law’s Facebook page.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 23, 2010

I’m a radio guest TONIGHT

I’ve been asked to be a guest on the debut segment of “Grogan’s Tavern” tonight at 7 p.m. Pacific time on KLAV 1230 AM. Listen live by going to

It’s an interesting premise for a radio show. Here are some details I pulled off a press release:
Beginning Friday, April 23rd at 7 p.m. on KLAV 1230 AM radio, bestselling author and member of the Las Vegas Arts Commission Stephen Patrick Grogan will host an hour long cultural entertainment show, interestingly enough called “Grogan’s Tavern.”

“With all the budgetary negatives going on with city services,” explained Grogan, “I thought it was time we dwelt on some of the positive activities that make this a great city. And instead of a dry, boring talk show, I like the idea of a friendlier, social atmosphere. To an Irishman, a pub or tavern is the perfect watering hole for intellectual gossip and camaraderie.”

KLAV Program Director Jon Lindquist said the format will seek to be fun and witty. “Stephen Patrick Grogan is looking for interesting characters for his show. Please apply. We hope “Grogan’s Tavern” becomes an urban Prairie Home Companion, or more so, a Cheers with IQ.”

Grogan is the author of Vegas Die, which has gained a cult following for its major hook: a dagger worth $25,000 is hidden somewhere in the Vegas Valley, and the clues are in the book. In July, his next mystery will be released entitled, Captain Cooked. “This has a treasure hunt component as well as serves up Hawaiian recipes,” said Grogan. “Being a closet epicurean, for the radio program, I want to showcase some of the great yet unheralded restaurants and chefs in town. The show will also draw attention to local talent, whether music, literary, or art. No stuffy conversation because I will be the gadfly bartender!”
Hope you’ll listen in!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It’s okay, all hippies look alike, too

I could hardly get to sleep last night. After work I headed over to the Hilton to check out a Bruce Springsteen tribute band called The Rising—what a blast! I freakin’ love tribute bands; they’re great fun in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way. (I never fully grasped the meaning of that expression).

This is the third Springsteen tribute band I’ve seen since I’ve been in Vegas. The first one was Bruce in the U.S.A., which I believe is how I got on this whole tribute band kick, but Springsteen! The Premier Tribute to the Boss is my favorite because they play songs mainly from the early years. Since then I’ve seen tribute bands for the Beatles, the Rolling Stones (last week), the Doors, and two honoring Neil Young and U2. I know I’ve seen more; I just can’t think of them.

It’s always nice when the guys in the tribute band physically resemble the members of the actual band. During the show last night I was thinking if I ever went to a Temptations or Earth, Wind and Fire or O’Jays tribute band, I’d be totally happy as long as there was a bunch of black guys on stage. In fact, you could sell me a ticket to an O’Jay’s concert and substitute the real band with tribute guys and I totally wouldn’t know the difference. Kind of like the old Folger’s instant coffee commercials. We’ve secretly replaced the O’Jays…

That’s not racist, right? I don’t mean it to be. I’m having dinner tonight with my friend Judy McFadden (who is black, even with the McName—remember this “I’m your Caucasian” post?), so I’ll ask her. I betcha she’ll say it’s not racist and the only ones who would think it’s racist are those pansy politically correct white people who won’t even say the word “b-l-a-c-k” and refer to every person of color as African-Americans even though they could be from Jamaica or Guyana or London or Montreal. I bet if they were robbed by a black guy, they’d tell the police they were “fiscally depleted by a gentleman who just happens to be African-American.” See, they’re the ones giving white people a bad name.

Anyway, the reason I could hardly get to sleep last night was because when I got home I got all wound up by a comment on my last post from MA Fat Woman giving me some great advice about my trip.
“From Nashville, go east to Knoxville and to Pigeon Forge (Hello, Dollywood)…”
Dollywood--YES! That never even occurred to me. Although with my bird phobia, the thought of going to a place called Pigeon Forge is a bit disturbing.

OMG, I am so freakin’ excited about this new adventure of mine. Keep those suggestions coming!

Now I’ll leave you with a picture of the Dolly Parton bridges that cross the Mohawk River just north of Albany.

And this picture of the O’Jays.

Psyche! It was the Temptations.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My master plan… REVEALED!!!

You knew it was coming. You knew that once that beautiful little baby was born, I wouldn’t be able to stay away. You knew I sold my beloved 14-year-old Saturn and bought a brand new, reliable vehicle that would get me cross-country for a damn good reason.

You were right. Last week I gave the 30-day notice on my apartment. Yesterday I gave a 4-week notice on my job. I’m heading east.

I’m not moving to Albany for good, and I don’t know how long I’ll stay there. It depends on how long the finances hold out or when it starts to get chilly—whatever comes first. I’ll start accepting freelance writing/editing work starting June 1, and I’d love to find a contract training job in Albany or somewhere in the Northeast that would get me through the summer. I’ve been working primarily as a technical writer for the past four years, and I really miss training. But if I can muster up enough freelance work, maybe I’ll just do that.

So here’s the plan. I’m going to continue with Purgefest 2010 and put the rest of my crap in storage here in Las Vegas. My job ends Friday, May 14, and that’s the same day my sister Lori arrives. We’ll take that weekend to tie up loose ends and raise hell in the Vegas biker bars and then on Monday, May 17 we’re hitting the highway.

The ultimate sisters’ road trip!!!

Of course, my dog Stiff will be coming with us. He won’t be a problem and we can even sneak him into motels that don’t allow pets because he never--I mean never--barks. Awesome.

We’re planning on taking the southern route over I-40 though Flagstaff to Albuquerque. I have a dear friend in Santa Fe, so we’ll stay there a night or two, and then on to Amarillo, Oklahoma City, Little Rock, and Memphis.

Stiff is going to Graceland!

After Memphis, we’ll head up to Nashville, where I must spend some time on a barstool in Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, this cool place that has live music starting each day at 10 a.m. I was there one morning about 10 years ago drinking beer and singing “All My Exes Live in Texas” with a bunch of new friends and I can’t wait to go back.

I haven’t mapped out the trip from Nashville up to New York yet, so if you have any suggestions, let me know. I definitely want to go to Asheville, North Carolina—I hear it’s my kind of place—and I’m thinking I’d like to up through Kentucky and West Virginia.

Oh, I soooo excited! I LOVE taking road trips, and as I’ve told you a million times, my sister Lori is a blast. Lori’s taking two weeks off from work, so we can take our time and stop at every bizarre roadside attraction and Harley Davidson shop along the way.

Of course, you’ll be with us on every leg of the trip. I’m hoping to add videos as well. And you thought this site was going to turn into a boring granny blog.

Just for that, look at this adorable picture of Connor and Hazel.


Soooo… Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Lay it on me!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Clarification on Baby Rice’s name

Let me address the question a couple of people have asked about my new granddaughter’s name, Hazel Julia Rice: was she named after Julia Roberts?

The answer is, “HELL, NO!”

Yeah, Hazel is the name of one of Julia Roberts’ twins, but Courtney and John chose the name because they liked it. And the middle name is in honor of John’s great-grandmother.

It’s a funny coincidence, but trust me, there was no intentional connection.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

BABY RICE is here! (photos added)

We interrupt today's regularly scheduled post with breaking news: the long-awaited birth of Baby Rice!

7:00 am (all times PDT)
Got a text from Courtney at 2:30 this morning saying she was on her way to the hospital. Latest text at 6:15 says she's 3-4 centimeters.

Go, Courtney!

10:00 am
No further word. What did Tom Petty say? The waiting really is the hardest part!

12:15 pm
8 centimeters! Should be soon.

2:20 pm
Waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting... This is making me mental! (More than usual.)

2:45 pm
Just talked to Courtney...

Hazel Julia Rice was born at 5:15 EDT!
8 lbs., 12 oz.

HAZEL!!! I have a granddaughter named HAZEL!!!

I have a granddaughter! Oh, we all soooo wanted a girl!

Courtney's doing very well--natural childbirth, too. She and John are thrilled! Connor was on his way over to the hospital to check out his little sister with Uncle Chris and Aunt Ketti.

Oh, happy day! I'm off to Ross to buy pink, pink, PINK!!!

7:00 pm
Hazels's granny went shopping!

Thanks to everyone for your good wishes! I love you all!

Friday, April 16, 2010

No word yet

Last night while attending a cocktail reception at the Las Vegas Writers Conference, my phone rings with Courtney's picture displaying. All excited and expecting THIS IS IT, I answer, "Hi, sweetie!"

"Hi, Mommy," she says. "No news. I'm just calling to talk."


Poor Court.

This morning I got a text from her saying if it's not out by Tuesday (4/20) (ha!), they'll break her water, if she's dilated. That got me all pissed and like why the hell can't these damn doctors let nature take its course. Jesus H, Christopher was 12 days late and Courtney was 9 days late and they turned out perfectly fine.

My favorite all-time line from the King of the Hill cartoon is when Peggy Hill says to Hank, "You heard what I told that doctor." That's so me.

Anyway, Courtney says it makes sense because they live an hour away from the hospital and Connor was a quick labor, and this way they'll have it more controlled and they won't have to worry about a roadside delivery.

Okay, then.

And so we wait...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Awaiting the arrival of Baby Rice

I stole this photo of Courtney from my sister Lori’s facebook page.

Cool shirt, huh?

Courtney’s going to pop any minute now. Her due date is Saturday. I can’t wait to see what it is (no one except the doctor knows the baby’s sex) and what it will be named. As I mentioned before, John and Courtney haven’t shared the names they picked out; Connor is the only one who’s hip to that info and he’s been great at keeping the secret. The only hint Courtney gave me is it definitely won’t be named Minute.

I’m crazy with excitement! I can’t wait to get my hands on this kid.

As some of you have figured out, I’m planning on heading back east soon. Between the new baby and the fact that Connor’s 11 and probably won’t want to hang out with Granny much longer, this seems to be the perfect time to go back and reconnect. I’ve been away for nine years—one in Wyoming, one in Utah, and seven in Las Vegas. I’ll give you the details of my master plan in Saturday’s post, but I can tell you right now I’m NOT moving back for good! Hell, no. Cold weather is not my scene.

I’ll keep you posted on the arrival of Baby Rice. Hopefully there will be a breaking newsflash soon!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My new goal: Dancing with the Stars

No kidding! Wouldn’t that be so cool?

I love to dance, though I’m not the greatest dancer. I don’t know steps or anything—I wish! My mother is a fantastic dancer, but she grew up in the time when everyone learned ballroom dancing. Unless they were caught up in the disco era, most people my age never actually learned to dance—we just get out there and do our own thing.

I dance like a white chick and when I’ve had a few beers in me, I dance like a drunken white chick. I can only describe my style as half Grateful Dead interpretive, half stripper. And I’m talking Tuesday afternoon stripper. If anyone ever taped me on the dance floor, the You Tube video would probably go viral, second only to a video of me doing karaoke.

Whenever a guy asks me to dance, I respond with this goofy/flirty “I don’t know how” and invariably he says, “That’s okay, just follow me.” Then after we’re dancing for like 30 seconds he says, “Oh, do you want to lead?” because evidently I can’t follow anyone. No, I have to be the one in control. You can’t tell me what to do!

I took several years of ballet as a teenager and into my 20s and 30s, but in ballet everything’s all mapped out; you know exactly what’s going on if you remember to just follow the course. I can’t have someone twirling me around on a whim. No sir.

I have issues, people. Duh.

So I’m a long way from my DWTS debut. Not to mention I’ll need to achieve some degree of fame before that can happen—they don’t call it Dancing with the Nobodys—which means I need to become a famous author, which means I need to sell a lot more copies of Bastard Husband: A Love Story.

You can help me achieve my goal!

Buy a signed copy through PayPal right here in this site (free shipping and cheaper than Amazon). Read some excerpts first if you want. Bastard Husband makes a great… um, Mother’s Day gift (?) Or summer’s coming—it’s the perfect book for lying on the beach. Yeah, that’s it.

So help me out, huh? Before I decided to end my show, I ordered another stash of books to sell after my performance. I’d love to reduce my inventory—the more books you buy, the lighter my load when I take off next month.

Take off? Did I say that out loud?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I know the person with the TV converter box (!) and the joy of singing about a transvestite

Remember all the hoo-ha last year about the conversion from analog to digital TV signals? Remember seeing those ads warning that if you didn't have a digital TV or cable/satellite service you’d better get yourself a converter box or you’d be shit out of luck next time you tried to watch your Family Guy reruns? Remember thinking everyone on earth has cable, so who the hell would need a converter box?

I’ll tell you who. It’s not my 75-year old mother or even my 89-year-old ex-mother-in-law. Nope. Those ads, which cost taxpayers well into the trillions of dollars, were all for one person: my son, Christopher.

Yep, he’s the one. I told you in this post a while back that my boy’s not big into technology. Since I wrote that, I’m happy to report that he has taken up text messaging (!) and there’s actually a laptop in his place now, thanks to his girlfriend. But I bet Chris checks his email maybe once a month, if that. There are some things he just can’t be bothered with.

Anyway, at Courtney’s baby shower a few weeks ago we all had a good laugh about the converter box (beats tin foil hanging off the antenna). Court’s due date is April 17, so any day now…

What a great time I had during that visit, especially since I got to spend a lot of quality time with my 11-year-old grandson, Connor. One day in the car he had me listen to a selection from his iPod. The song was “Yoda,” Weird Al Yankovic’s parody of The Kinks’ classic, “Lola.” As we drove along through the hill towns of Albany County, we broke into a duet of sorts, with Connor singing the Weird Al lyrics
"I saw the little runt sitting there on the log
I asked him his name and in a raspy voice he said, “Yoda”
Y-O-D-A, Yoda
Yo-yo-yo-yo Yoda"
while I sang the original Ray Davies version.

From then on, every time we got in the car together, Connor cued up the song and was ready to sing. It struck me. Jeez, I thought, Connor’s 11. How much longer will he want to sing duets about a transvestite with his granny?

I’ll be making a big announcement next week. I know you can figure it out.

Purgefest 2010 continues…

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Are you related to Beverly d’Angelo and you’re just not telling me?

I LOVE my new car! OMG, I can’t tell you how much. It’s so freakin’ cute and fun to drive and it’s turned me into the absolutely queerest person. I get out and look at it as I walk away. Tuesday I was all “goddamit” when it started to sprinkle. And yesterday as I pulled away from the drive through at Jack-in-the-Box, I snitched a french fry from the bag and then put it back so I wouldn’t get the car all messy. I even park away from other vehicles so no one accidentally bangs into it. If you’re thinking of buying a new car, I highly recommend a Scion. I love it!

And now I can flirt with guys on the road with confidence. Although I did pretty well with my dusty old Saturn with the dent in the roof.

Like a 16-year-old with a newly minted license, I just want to drive, drive, drive. Saturday night I went down to Primm to see Melissa Etheridge. I got free tickets through (great deal for Las Vegas locals) and of course, you can’t see Melissa Etheridge without a lesbian in tow, so I rounded up one of my Jeep-driving BFFs.

Before the show, we ran into one of her friends outside the box office. Kri introduced me and then afterward said, “I knew that girl in high school. We played softball.”

“No shit, I didn’t think you met in ballet class,” I replied.

Nice, aren’t I?

Anyway, I’d never seen Melissa before, and she’s an amazing performer. What a voice. She did “Piece of My Heart” during the encore and I got shivers. You know how your mind wanders during a concert? I was thinking that if I were an actual lesbian and not just a straight chick with a celebrity crush on Beverly d’Angelo, I would totally go for Melissa Etheridge. She seems really nice.

Oh, speaking of Beverly, HELLO—why didn’t anyone tell me about her commercial with Chevy Chase that ran during the Super Bowl? Huh? Last week one of my friends sent me a link to it and I was like I can’t freakin’ believe one of my blog readers didn’t clue me in before now. Jeez.

Is she gorgeous or what?

I told you I was queer.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

You can dress it up with a fancy French name, but it's still future you-know-what

You know how I’m a picky eater and I won’t eat stuff simply because I don’t like the sound of it? Well, on Saturday I met my BFF Lisa Gioia-Acres and her cooler-than-moi daughter, Adrian, for lunch at the Texas de Brazil steakhouse in Town Square. Why so fancy-schmancy? It was Adrian’s birthday and she’s worth it.

Anyway, you know me and my whole “food is just future shit” take on fine dining, but this place was yum. And by “yum,” I mean the waiters. Holy crap, I am totally NOT the let’s-go-see-the-Chippendales type—au contraire—but there is something to be said for having extremely nice looking men wait on you.

I got to thinking. Men, God love them, can have their Hooters, but wouldn’t it be cool to have a restaurant chain that catered to women? But not in the male stripper vein; I’m talking a classy place with napkins you feel guilty getting your lipstick on, and refined, polite waiters who live to make sure you have a pleasurable dining experience.

Feel free to take that idea and run with—I doubt I’ll be opening a restaurant anytime soon.

Well, in addition to the service, the food was delicious and when our waiter brought around the desserts to choose from, I opted for the crème brulee. I don’t know what possessed me to order that because I am NOT an adventuresome eater, but for some reason I thought it would have chocolate in it.

As it turned out, it didn’t, but it tasted fine. Until Lisa said, “Do you know what that is? It’s egg custard.”


Freakin’ eggs are not dessert food! And I don’t like the sound of custard. I put down my spoon.

“What, you’re not going to eat it now?” Lisa said, in the same tone I heard her address her 7-year-old grandson.

“No, I’m just full,” I replied.

In reality, part of me was ready to cry because I couldn’t believe I ate half a bowl of freakin’ egg custard and I should have gotten the chocolate cake and it’s pretty bad when even you realize you’re the most immature person on earth on top of the fact that I just lied to my dear friend on her daughter’s birthday.

Mind you, I could eat three hot dogs in a sitting. Pig lips and anuses, right?

It’s not easy being me.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The big news: I’ve ended my most successful relationship to date

Yes, after 14 glorious years together, I’ve decided it’s over. It’s not that I’ve had a nagging feeling of dissatisfaction; on the contrary, this relationship has served me so well I'd brag about it to anyone who'd listen. And we haven’t been growing in different directions and are no longer compatible. Nothing like that.

It’s just that sometimes you know in your heart it’s time to move on. I can’t tell you how many people have been advising me to do just that, and for how long, but I’ve been resisting; I’d have no part of it. They’d shake their heads and roll their eyes when I’d insist how happy I was and gush about how well it serves me. And no doubt many will gasp an audible sigh of relief accompanied by an exasperated “Finally!” when I break the news.

Yes, it’s true. My beloved 1996 Saturn and I have parted ways.

And look what I picked up last night: a brand new Scion xD!

How freakin’ cute is this? Just like my Saturn, it’s so me!

Yes, it’ll take a while to get used to remote key entry (is that what it’s called?) and pressing a button instead of rolling down the window. And no more cassette deck (!) or relying on my psychic powers to determine when it needs oil. Everything’s different now.

I had a great buying experience over at Findlay Toyota. Scion, like Saturn, has a no-haggle price policy so you don't feel like you're being ripped off or lacking in negotiation skills. Greg Hadges, a nice New Yorker from New Rochelle, took good care of me. I LOVE my Scion and if you're in Las Vegas and are thinking of buying one, call Findlay Toyota at 566-2000 and ask for Greg. Be sure to tell him I sent you!

It’s funny, I came this close to buying a smaller 2006 Scion xA at Carmax, but I was full of angst all day trying to decide what to do—I was really afraid it would be too small. Then I thought what the hell, just buy the freakin’ thing, and when I picked up my cell phone to call the sales rep there (her name was Mary Harrington—excellent), I saw that I had missed a call from Mike. So I called him first, and he talked me out of getting a used car, saying I’d be much better off with something new. He was right—because of the preferable new car interest rate, the payments are actually lower. And now I have a bigger, brand-new vehicle. Good move and excellent twist of fate.

The best part of all this is I can move on guilt-free; my beloved Saturn is going to a good home. I sold it for $300 to my 25-year-old BFF from work, J.P., so it’s staying in the family and I’ll still get to see it. He’s psyched to have it, and we had a laugh when I handed him a three-inch folder of maintenance records (most all preventive!).

Like the old Neil Young song goes, "Long May You Run."

So yeah, my beloved Saturn was the latest casualty of Purgefest 2010, this cleansing kick I’m on. “Sticking my finger down the throat of life” is what I believe I called it.

And I’m not done yet…

Friday, April 2, 2010

Big freakin' news... tomorrow

OMG, you won't believe the latest casualty of my Purgefest 2010. I'll be breaking the news tomorrow. What a tease, huh?

In the meantime, how much do you love this pic I stole from Courtney's Facebook? Two weeks to go!

Court's friend Ken Jacobie is an amazing photographer. He took that one as well as these of the Blackwell Sinners at their gig last Saturday night. They were amazing--I was so proud!

That's my son-in-law, John, Courtney, Christopher and their dad, Chris. They were truly AMAZING! The show was taped for future broadcast--I'll let you know if it will be available for download.

But oh, yeah... just wait for Saturday's news. You are so not going to see this coming. I don't think so, anyway.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The beauty of strangers

I love traveling because I always meet the nicest people. Look at this sweet girl who sat next to me on my flight to Albany last Thursday.

Precious, huh?

Her name is Kaitlin and she’s from California, but she’s currently living just north of Albany with her boyfriend, Sean. He’s in the Navy and is learning to be a nuclear something-or-other, I want to say engineer. Suffice to say, he’s a hell of a lot smarter than I am.

Kaitlin struck up a conversation with me over my People magazine with Sandra Bullock on the cover. Yeah, don’t we all have an opinion on that? Well, I can tell I’m interested in someone when I put down my celebrity rag to shoot the breeze with them, and I found my adorable new friend fascinating.

You know how when you’re talking to someone you try to guess their age and hope it comes out in conversation so you know how right you were? I figured Kaitlin was one of those 26-year-olds who looks 15, but no, she’s actually only 19. Nineteen! That in itself is freakin’ precious. The only reason I thought she was older is because she seemed so together.

Kaitlin told me she was only 1 pound, 13 ounces when she was born—can you imagine? She’s an only child, and the reason she was so tiny is because her mother had lupus. Unfortunately, her mother died at age 38, when Kaitlin was just 8.

Kaitlin had a bunch of pictures in a plastic bag that she was bringing back to show her boyfriend. She asked if I’d like to see them, and of course I did. She showed me photos of herself as the teensiest little baby with oxygen tubes running into her nose and then at various stages of her childhood, with her parents and later with just her dad. Her mother was a beautiful dark haired woman of Creole descent and Kaitlin’s father looked like the party guys I went to college with. In every picture, their little girl was smiling broadly.

A motherless child—how could she be so happy? I wondered. A nanosecond later Kaitlin said, “The thing I miss most about my mother is her smile. She was always so happy.”

I enjoyed every second of the three hours or so of our conversation. When we landed, I asked Kaitlin if I could take her picture for my blog and she insisted I also get one of the two of us together. I obliged, despite my anxiety of a close-up of my 52-year-old face cheek-to-cheek with a beautiful 19-year-old.

In the terminal, I introduced Kaitlin to my sister and grandson and I met her boyfriend, Sean, before we hugged and went our separate ways. I’ll keep in touch with her, just as I keep in touch with another young traveler, Tobi, whom I met on a flight a couple of years ago on my way home from New Orleans. I love that kid, too.

These young friends of mine make me feel I’m a very lucky gal. Wonderful things happen when strangers are no longer strangers.