Saturday, April 30, 2011

No shortage of material

 I LOVE to meet people who follow my blog and last night I had the pleasure of getting together with Mandy from Surprise, Arizona, and her husband, Jeff, at the Palms.  You know those annoying couples who are so freakin' perfect together they actually look like each other?  That's these two, except they're not annoying--they're adorable.

My only complaint about my iPhone is that it doesn't take great pictures in dim lighting, but you can still tell how cute she is.  Oh, how I love to make new friends! 

I was happy to see the Palms doing so well--it was quite busy.  I think the Strip is actually doing okay these days, but what the hell do I know--I'm hardly ever there.  Anyway, after a couple of beers Mandy and Jeff left for Red Rock, and I made the mistake of heading for the food court.  Really, Linda?  Did you really need garlic knots? 

I was going to stop in at Alexis Park to catch my buddy Joe Lowers' show, but I was stinking--I mean reeking of garlic, so I went home.   Mike was like, "At least we don't have to worry about vampires tonight."  I still reek!  Like if you said you could smell me through your monitor, I'd totally believe it.

Speaking of that amazing boyfriend of mine, look how he kept himself busy while I was in Albany.

I found this notebook on his nightstand full of calculations; that's what he does for fun.  I think he said he's working on some trigonometry problems (without a calculator?), but I told Mr. Beautiful Mind that if he was really smart, he'd know that the only thing you need math for is to figure out discounts at Kohl's and tips for waitresses.  Yeah, believe it or not, I've lived a good 53 years and have never, ever wished I'd paid attention when they were explaining sines, cosines, and tangents.

But I worship the ground he walks on. 

Related--you may have seen my Facebook post the other night: 
"Just told Mom that my boyfriend color-coordinates the hangers in our closet and she said, "Maybe he has that AC/DC."
I couldn't make this stuff up.  Between Mike and my mother, there's no shortage of material...

Speaking of material, be sure to come back for Tuesday's post--I'm heading to Laughlin today for the annual River Run bike fest.  It'll be my fourth year in a row and it's always a good time.  Here's an article I wrote for Living-Las-Vegas about my first year, if you have some time to kill. 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

"More issues than Sports Illustrated"

Today is Take Your Kids to Work day.  It used to be called "Take Your Daughters to Work," so little girls could experience first-hand the fantastic and rewarding alternatives to becoming something--anything--other than a stay-at-home mom.  They had to be kidding, right?

Seriously, why would anyone in their right mind choose to toil away in a cubicle shuffling papers they could not give two shits about, taking orders from a self-important blowhard of a boss when they could be calling the shots all day in their own house and in their pajamas until they're goddamn good and ready to get dressed?  I was home with my kids when they were little and I'm telling you, it was the tits. 

Being the smart gal that I am, I had two kids less than 13 months apart (!) so they had each other to play with all day, especially while I watched Guiding Light (RIP).  Christopher and Courtney were so cute--they'd be nice and quiet and would wait for the commercials if they wanted my attention (because they knew I would totally ignore them anyway).  Guiding Light was the oasis in my day--everything would stop at 3:00 so I could visit with my friends in Springfield.  Aah, the good old days.

Yep, this was before VCRs were invented--can you imagine?  And there was no 24/7 children's programming, even on cable, so the only chance to pop the kids in front of the TV was during Sesame Street, and if you missed it, you were S.O.L. That's right people, I was a stay-at-home mom back when there was no such thing as the video babysitter.   And it was still better than going to work!

Right now I have it made work-wise.  I toil away in our home office in my pajamas, get dressed whenever I'm goddamn good and ready, and report to someone 2,500 miles away.  Funny--I still think of one particular self-important blowhard of a boss I had years ago.  What a pompous bastard he was!  I'm still friends with one of the girls I worked with back then and we often wonder about him.  He'd be close to 90 now, if he's still alive.  We have no idea, but we like to imagine him drooling in a nursing home sitting in his own piss and shit.  Isn't that terrible?  Man, talk about holding a grudge!

I did work for some very nice people over the years, too, but when I think of some of the bosses I had in the early days, I realize there were a couple with serious mental issues.  I can't believe how I let them push me around, but I was only a kid so what did I know?  One of the greatest things about getting older is you no longer take crap from people; I imagine how the 53-year-old Linda would handle them.  Very differently, I can tell you that.

How about you?  Were you able to stay home with your kids?  Did you enjoy it? 

Do you have some not-so-fond memories of bosses from your youth?  How do you imagine them these days?

[NOTE TO MANDY:  I'd love to meet you while you're in Vegas.  Send me an email at and we'll make it happen!]

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Once again, I'm back to reality

I had a fantastic visit in Albany, despite 11 straight days of rain and clouds.  Man, I could never live in a climate like Seattle or Portland.  I'm mental enough on a sunny day.  Of course, the sun came out full force just as I was boarding my plane home.

Thanks to my grandson, Connor, for guest blogging on Saturday.  We had a ball on our trip to Vermont.  Fortunately, the "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" song was short-lived, though I was treated to a Weird Al repertoire for hours on end each way.  It's amazing what you'll put up with for your grandchildren.  If my kids subjected me to that, I would have been screaming, "Enough of that goddamn Weird Al!" but since he's my precious grandson, I was totally nice.  It wasn't until we were nearly home that I sweetly asked, "Do you have any other music, Connor?  Weird Al's getting to be a little 'Jimmy Cracked Corn,' if you know what I mean." 

Of course, he knew what I meant and if you've seen Pee Wee's Big Adventure, you know the reference, too.  Unfortunately, my comment inspired him to sing "Jimmy Cracked Corn" at the top of his lungs just like the hobo on the train in the movie, so my request totally backfired.  But because he's my grandson, that little voice of his is just so charming and endearing.

Are you gagging yet?

Speaking of gagging, the crap I let him eat on our trip!  (Check out the picture in Saturday's post.)  And the crap I ate, too.  At 1:30 Sunday afternoon he talked me into stopping at Dunkin Donuts in South Burlington, the same Dunkin Donuts we visited when we pulled into town on Saturday afternoon.  A got a couple of donuts for Connor and when the girl at the counter asked if I wanted anything, I was like, "Well, let's see.  So far today I've had a piece of leftover pizza, a cookie, some pretzels, and a bagel with cream cheese... yeah, give me one of those chocolate frosted things." 

Disgusting.  So this morning I weighed in at 140, which means I gained back all the weight I lost since I was last in Albany back in January.  Oh, by "all the weight," I mean "two and a half pounds."  Big deal, huh?  I could give up beer, but Jesus H, that's a quality of life issue, you know?

Anyway, it's great to be back with my man here in Vegas.  Mike had the house immaculate when I got home, and even color coordinated the hangers in our closet.  (How do you spell OCD?)  (We are a match made in heaven) 

I have lots more to tell you, but reality is calling.  More tomorrow...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Heading back to Las Vegas today

I'm leaving Albany at 1:00 and will arrive in the Vegas sunshine at 3:40.  It's been a great trip--lots of fun times with family and friends.  I'll write a proper post tonight, so check back later!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Guest blogger: "From Albany, New York, to Burlington, Vermont"

After a long day of travelling, I'm too tired to write tonight.  But good news--I have a guest blogger.  Read on!

After a long day of travelling we made it. From Albany, New York, to Burlington, Vermont, singing songs like "99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer." The scary part about the trip was Granny's driving in the rain, but I'm still alive. Also we were taking a ferry to cross Lake Champlain. The lake was flooding and the water was coming on the dock, but we made it.

Waiting for the ferry
My granny and I went to the Ben and Jerry's ice cream factory in Waterbury, Vermont. We took one of the tours and it was not the best. The only good part probably was the ice cream sample, but the samples were very small.
In front of the Ben and Jerry's factory
We also were looking for a hotel in Stowe, Vermont, but there wasn't any hotels we liked. Then we found the place in Burlington, the Courtyard ,with a Lake Champlain view. Nice location a few blocks from downtown.
In the hotel room
Tomorrow we think we are going to take a walk by the lake. Wish me luck coming home with Granny's driving!
 -- Connor Burns

Thursday, April 21, 2011

If you think my driving is scary, you should see me first thing in the morning

Of course I miss Mike and the kids while I’m here in Albany, but you know what else I miss? The sun. I think I’ve seen it for all of about 10 minutes since last Saturday. What a miserable stretch of weather we’re having here in the Northeast, and there’s really no end in sight.

I’m hoping it’ll break over the weekend. My 12-year-old grandson, Connor, and I are taking a road trip to northern Vermont on Saturday and it would be nice if it weren’t raining or drizzling. Or snowing. We’re heading to the Stowe area, so if anyone knows of an awesome place to stay up there, do tell.

In case you don’t know, Stowe, VT, is a major ski resort. I’ve never been up there, but usually ski towns are fun any time of year. I’ve been to Park City, Vail and Steamboat Springs (I don’t even ski), and they were all a blast.

I love the fact that Connor still wants to hang out with me; those teenage years are approaching and soon he’ll be too busy and cool, but I understand. I’ll take every minute with him that I can. Although last time we took a road trip together (in February when he was in Vegas) he said, “Granny, you’re driving scares me!”

Yeah, you and the rest of the world. You know the line from my comedy act: “I never get in accidents, but I hear them happening behind me.”

I wish I had a better rental car. It’s a Chevy Aveo-- the company I work for doesn’t pay for it and I’m too cheap to spring for anything better. Plus I need a small car since I’m a crappy driver. Anyway, no offense to anyone who drives one of these, but it’s a piece of shit. It has absolutely nothing electronic! Even Connor was like, “Granny, what century is your car from?” You have to use a key to get in and you have to pull up the knobs to unlock each individual door, like in the olden days. We’re talking windows that you have to actually roll down! I’m looking for the friggin’ 8-track.

Funny how I can be so above a car like that—for 14 years and 208,000 miles I drove a totally un-electronic Saturn (with a bitchin’ cassette deck) and did nothing but brag how it was the greatest car on earth. And now I think my Scion is the greatest car on earth. Look how cute it is!

My car pretending it's in a commercial at Valley of Fire

I keep thinking I need to start my book, Cars I Have Loved, Men I Have Wrecked.

So my car is another thing I miss, but it’s really great to be here in Albany. I’ve been having a blast and cherish every moment with my family and friends.

I probably won’t get to post again until late Saturday or early Sunday, but be sure to check back to see where we end up. I have a particular destination in mind for this weekend that should be interesting!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A birthday party for a 1-year-old is still probably more interesting than whatever you should be doing at work right now

I am so sorry--especially to you guys--but as you might have expected, today's post is all about Hazel's birthday.   But it's not like you didn't know I'm a freakin' granny.  (I can see how you'd forget because I'm so incredibly sexy and all.)

First let me tell you I did a fantastic set at Duke's on Saturday night, if I do say so myself.  A bunch of my Albany friends showed up--I think there were 16 of them--and the room at Duke's is a real good one, so we had all the ingredients of a perfect night.  My sister Lori took a video and hopefully I'll have that up on YouTube soon.  That's two YouTube promises (the other's for Thursday night's speech).  Oh, how will you ever be able to sleep until then?

Now for the birthday girl... ta-da!  Here she is in her new hat.

Did you notice the white eyelashes?

She's a precious baby and I'm not just saying that.

So it was a typical 1-year-old's birthday party, complete with carrot cake (I counted that as my vegetable for the day) and coffee ice cream (?)  And some high-quality adult beverages. 

Here's Courtney hamming it up.  You can tell my Sonic Youth shirt is in heavy rotation these days. 

How's this for a festive room?  Courtney and one of her girlfriends made all the decorations.  So creative.

Except for Christopher, the boys were in the other room or outside with and all the kids.  That's my youngest sister, Stacie, sitting in the middle.  She and her kids came up from Virginia.

So after Thursday night's super-important speech, my big travel day on Friday, a comedy set on Saturday, Hazel's birthday on Sunday... yesterday I got up and went to the office like a completely normal person.  First day I haven't worked in my robe since January.  It sure was great to see all my work buds.

Oh, and those pesky taxes... I filed for an extension so I'll worry about them in October.  Psyche!  I won't put them off that long--I'm getting money back.  But I'm going to pay someone to do them right for me--I think I'll get a lot more back that way.

Did you say psyche! when you were a kid?  It's a funny thing to say, huh?  I have a couple of meetings scheduled for tomorrow; I'll have to see if I can somehow weave in a psyche! or two in a somewhat serious moment just to see everyone's reaction.  "Sorry, I won't have that document done until August...  Psyche!" 

See, this is why my work friends miss me when I'm in Vegas.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Speech went great, I'm back in Albany... all is well!

My speech Thursday night at the kick-off of the Las Vegas Writers Conference went well—thank you all for your kind words of support! Of course, I wasn’t totally happy with myself—I think I was a little stiff—but a lot of people came up to me afterward and said it was awesome, so I guess I should believe them. Mike always gives me an honest assessment, and he said it was… I forget what adjective he used, but he didn’t find anything wrong.

Whew! Though I’ve taught several conference sessions over the years, this was the first time I addressed the entire gathering. And because this event was open to the public, there were a lot of other people there besides those attending the conference. I think there was maybe a hundred, but Mike thought there were more and God knows he’s a hell of a lot smarter than I am.

Anyway, that’s behind me and once I get my friggin’ taxes done I’ll really be able to breathe easier. Oh, my speech was taped and Stephens Press will be putting it on YouTube soon, so I’ll let you know. Fingers crossed that I look halfway decent. I wore a cute dress, but you know how the camera adds 30 pounds, plus wouldn’t you know I had a shittier-than-thou hair day yesterday. It’s always flat as hell, but yesterday I swear it looked painted on.

You know how it is when you’re trying to grow your hair out (I like to joke to people that I’m growing it for Locks for Love-hahaha!) (I imagine cancer patients going, “Um, no thanks.”) Anyway, you know how one day your hair looks okay and then the next day it’s totally gone to shit? That was my head on Thursday.

God, I’m a nut.

Speaking of, my trip to Albany yesterday was a major pain in the ass. I knew I’d be connecting in Denver, but what Southwest sometimes doesn’t tell you is that they’re going to make a quick stop somewhere else first, so we went to Denver by way of Amarillo. The good news is, I sat next to a nice cowboy from Amarillo who told me to be careful on my layover because last week a woman got raped in the Denver airport. The bad news is, obviously he didn’t really care about me or he would have told me was that the Denver airport was full of BIRDS! Hello… rapists aren’t going to randomly fly into your head. I hate it when birds are in the airport—it’s not like at Costco where you can just run out and abandon your cart full of groceries.

But all is well—I’m in Albany now, am doing comedy tonight, and tomorrow is baby Hazel’s birthday. Hope you’re having a great weekend, too!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I'm insane (what else is new?)

Forgive me, but I don't have time to write a proper post today.  I have to put the finishing touches on a speech and I really want to knock this one out of the park; this will probably be the largest audience I've spoken to yet.  Plus, I'm leaving for Albany tomorrow and have to do all that's associated with a 10-day trip to a place where God knows what the weather will actually be.  And oh, yeah... those pesky taxes still need to be completed.

Remember how I used to get blotches all over my neck every time I did stand-up?  They're baa-aack.  By tomorrow afternoon I'll have it all behind me; I can't wait till the flight attendant hands me that first cocktail.  Yes, I said "first."  (I have drink coupons, too--yay!)

I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone in Albany.  Sunday is beautiful granddaughter Hazel's first birthday! Can you believe it?

All together now:  Aaawwww!

I can't wait to get my hands on her--I bet she's grown a lot since I last saw her in  January.

Hey, for those of you in the Albany area, I'll be doing a set Saturday night at Duke's Pub in Glenmont.  Show starts at 8:30.  The Albany comics are a great bunch and my buddy Dave Kanyan runs a fun stage.  Hope you can make it!

And if you're in Vegas, why not stop by the Stephens Press cocktail party tonight to celebrate the launch of the Las Vegas Writers Conference?  It's at 7:00 at Sam's Town in the Virginia City conference room.  It's free and open to the public and, um... you'll recognize one of the speakers.  Fingers crossed that I do well! 

I'll let you know how it goes.  And there's another blotch...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How do morons do their taxes?

Man, I'm going to be busy as HELL this week, but it's all good.  Except the part about the taxes...

Yeah, it's not like I didn't know April 15 wouldn't be here sooner or later, but doesn't that date just sneak up on you?  Isn't it freaky that April is almost half over?  Anyway, it's my own fault for waiting so goddamn long, and since I'm getting a refund, wouldn't you think I'd be all over filing ASAP? 

Let me tell you what pisses me off about tax season.  It's not that I mind paying taxes; I understand that we have to fund libraries, schools, hospitals, etc., and God knows policemen and firemen and soldiers deserve a salary.  I've been doing my own through Turbo Tax for the past several years, and for the most part they make it easy enough, but sometimes I reach a point where I don't know what the eff I'm doing and that's when the old blood pressure starts to elevate. 

Why does the government have to make it so goddamn complicated ?

I consider myself to be pretty well educated and if I'm sitting there like a moron, how do these friggin' idiots that I see in the grocery store who take the crap out of their cart at the checkout and then because there's only like five or six items, decide they don't need the cart anymore so they walk away and leave it behind as if they've totally forgotten they pushed the goddamn around the store for the past 20 minutes and now since I'm the one whose supposed to do something with it, I decide to give it a little shove just so it clips them in the back of the ankles.

That's not mean, is it?

Anyway, how do they muster the intellect to do their taxes? 

I guess they pay someone to do the job, and that leads me to another question:  Why does the government require us to do something that's so goddamn complicated that even a smart person like moi has to hire a specialist?

It shouldn't be this hard, that's all I'm saying.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Stems and flowers, and why we should be both

A while back I was watching The Joy Behar Show. The guys out there probably don't know who she is, and those who do probably find her annoying. I like her, though; I'll bet you anything she's a lovely person in real life.

Anyway, the actress Scarlett Johanson and her husband had just split up. As part of her commentary on the event, and I believe hinting that Scarlett's husband somehow resented her fame, Joy said something like, "She's a celebrity; he's not. You know how relationships go--one person is the stem and the other's the flower. He wanted to be the flower."

Her words got me thinking about my own relationship. I feel incredibly lucky; Mike is a sturdy stem. We met at a meeting of the Henderson Writers' Group and from day one, even before the sparks started to fly, I knew he would be a solid source of support for my writing. When I'm performing, there's nothing like knowing he's rooting for me in the audience. And once I'm off stage, he offers thoughtful critique that is truly constructive, as if my success is his as well.

I love the metaphor, but one partner shouldn't always be the stem while the other is the flower. To be fair, the roles must be reciprocated. Though it's not as obvious to the outside world, I'm the stem to Mike's flower, too, and I love playing that role. It's an honor to serve one's beloved, no?

But what about people who aren't in a relationship and have no beloved to serve them? Are their flowers without stems?

Hell, no!  Your support doesn't have to come from a significant other-- friends and family can be your stem, too.

You wouldn't believe how many people are pulling for you, how many people have their fingers crossed for your success. And maybe you've never even laid eyes on some of those people, maybe you know them only from Facebook or the blogosphere.  (I think about a blogger in New Jersey every single day.  I don't even know her first name.)

My point is, so many people are on your side; we want you to win.  Because when you win, everybody wins; we all get to enjoy the beauty of a flower.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Living balls to the wall, white-girl style

My comic friend Gaynelle Peoples hosts the monthly "G-Spot Comedy" at Choices Pub and Showroom on Cheyenne over on the west side of town.   I love performing there and not just because Gaynelle buys her comics a drink; she does an excellent job running the show.  We can totally let loose--nobody holds back a thing on her stage, no matter how politically incorrect.  After all, she's the instigator; Gaynelle's a freakin' riot.  Not to mention the biggest, blackest lesbian I know. 

GAYnelle.  Get it?

I love that picture--I stole it from her Facebook.  Doesn't she look like she could freakin' decimate my little white ass?  Like if I saw her coming toward me in junior high, I'd totally lose my bus money, right?  Forgetaboutit.  She's sweet.  Sweet, I tell you! 

Okay, she kind of scares the shit out of me.

Anyway, yesterday on Facebook Gaynelle asked, "Are you living or existing?"

My response:  "Living BALLS TO THE WALL, sister." 

Forget the fact that I'm such a freakin' dork calling a black woman "sister"; she asks a good question.  Are you living or existing?  If you're existing, holy crap, you gotta get out of your rut and shake things up.  And if you're living, good for you, but are you living balls to the wall, with all the gusto life has to offer?  (I sound like a beer commercial now.)

I love that expression "balls to the wall."  Conjures up quite the visual in your mind's eye, no? 

But why would you get out of bed and approach a new day with anything less?  Every day, every hour,  in front of you is a blank canvas for you to paint however you'd like.  Why not use your most vibrant colors?  Why not pursue joy at every turn?  Even the most mundane tasks... hold on... what did Mary Poppins say?  "In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun... you find the fun and snap! the job's a game."

Okay, yeah.  I'll remember that when I'm doing my taxes this weekend.  But you know what I'm getting at, right?  Life is short.  Have as much fun as you can.  Balls to the wall.

Gaynelle's next all-female G-Spot Comedy show will be on Thursday, April 14.  I won't be performing that night--I'm going to be speaking at the Stephens Press-sponsored cocktail reception to kick off the Las Vegas Writers Conference, which, by the way, is open to the public.  But if you want to meet Gaynelle and have some serious laughs, head on over there.  Show starts at 8:00.

What?  You can't wait to see me perform?  Well, you're in luck.  Tomorrow night (Friday), I'll be doing a set at Tommy Rocker's on Dean Martin, just south of Flamingo.  The show starts at 7:30 with an audience participation joke-off and then the comics go on at 8:00.   This is another stage I enjoy performing on; Cozy Stone runs a tight ship, which I appreciate.  (You may remember Cozy from my book, if you've read it.  Like millions of people are right this moment.)

So look at me with the cool black friends, huh?

Hey, want to hear something funny?    A couple of weeks ago I did at set at Boomers, my old stomping ground and where I performed comedy for the very first time.  My comic friend Booya hosts that stage (and also does a great job).  Well, Booya's black and about half the audience was black, as was the DJ who was playing rap songs (or were they hip hop?  I have no clue) on the Victrola as each comic took the stage.  I know--isn't that just the perfect scenario for a white-as-hell, middle-aged granny?

So anyway, Booya introduces me and I strut up to the mic with the yo-yo-yo rap playing and when the music stops, I pause for a moment and then turn to the DJ and in my best "professional" voice with full enunciation, I deadpan, "I believe I distinctly asked for Jimmy Buffet."

I'm not sure the DJ knew I was kidding. 

Anyway, if you're not doing anything tomorrow night, come on out to Tommy Rocker's--it's a great time!  And no matter what you do, or when you do it, make fun a priority.  Live balls to the wall!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

It's official: my IQ is 1 million

You know I am so unbelievably full of myself, but I am seriously thinking I might be the smartest woman on the planet.  Again.

Two words:  Linda Land.

God bless me, getting my own apartment down the road from Mike was just the most brilliant move.  I've never slept or even showered there, but last weekend my friend Nina (the Mona character in my book) came in from L.A. and it was a great place for her to stay.  Just like when my brother and brother-in-law came to town last month for NASCAR. 

I don't even go there every single day but when I do, I freakin' LOVE it!  Most of the time I head over for a bit of peace and quiet after work at 3:00, which is also when the afterschool hell breaks loose at Mike's.  Seriously, would I rather listen to the shooting, shooting, shooting sounds of Black Ops or...

... the sound of a gentle waterfall at the pool?

I usually head back to Mike's around 6:30 when the kids get picked up and then Mike and I do whatever it is we're going to do for the night.  You know, like go for a hot dog dinner at Costco.  Since we both work at home, we have quality time to ourselves until 11:30 the next morning when he picks up the kindergartener.  

So yeah, the kids are here every day after school, all day on school holidays and vacations, and every other weekend, including that Sunday night.  That means Mike and I have four kid-free days a month.  Four.  Keep in mind my "children" are 32 and 33, and they're across the country.   And at this point in life, I like peace and quiet.  And on a good day, I'm still the most neurotic person on earth.

Linda Land makes a lot of sense, right?

As brilliant as I declare that I am, I'm not the first to come up with the idea of having a separate abode.  There's even something that has the official name, "Living Apart Together," which evidently is increasing in popularity, particularly among baby boomers.  According to Wikipedia, LAT is a term "for couples who, while committed to each other, decide to have separate homes rather than one shared residence." Many of these couples are even married; Woody Allen and Mia Farrow lived in different homes on either side of Central Park while they were together.  Um, didn't she have a hundred kids or so?  (Insert Soon Yi joke.)  Actually, I should come up with a better example; they were kind of a mess, no?

Anyway, evidently a lot of couples do this, though most of what I read is of couples who seem to actually live separately; Mike and I spend most of our time together and Linda Land is really just a retreat.  I can't help it, I need to escape from the incessant Black Ops war, like the one that ensued last weekend when it was Mike's turn to have the kids. 

Aaaaah, this was my life from the beautiful Linda Land balcony Sunday afternoon:

Cost of a 1BR/1bath apartment:  $701.25
Water, sewer. electric and gas:  less than $100.00
Enjoying a good book and drinking a Newcastle on your balcony overlooking the Las Vegas Valley on a Sunday afternoon basking in the sunshine in your bathing suit and not even caring that your gut's hanging out a little:  Do I really have to say it?

Who wants to join me?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Thank you, readers in the U.K.!

The stats change hourly, but at this moment the Kindle version of Bastard Husband is in the Top 10 in three categories.  Hey, pass a copy on to Ricky Gervais, will you?

Thanks a million!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

"Bastard Husband" -- This post's about the guy, not the book

I received this comment yesterday.

Hi Linda,

I was made aware of your blog and book 'Bastard Husband A Love Story' by a friend named Debbie on her blog 'From Venting to Viggo'. I've just started reading your book and enjoy both your humor and honesty. I am a man, married now for 29 years to the same woman and still the best part of my day is coming home to her. I can't relate at all to a so-called man's world that revolves around drinking, gambling, sports, etc. So my wife and I have never had those kinds of problems. But I know I will always be learning how to be a better husband.

Anyway, my question is this (please forgive my being new, if you've already answered this): has your ex read your book, and if so, how has he responded to it?

Best to you,

I thought I'd respond here in a post rather than embed my words in a comment thread that most people are unlikely to see. 

Good question, Ruben, and thank you for commenting.  I've been asked that many times--someone in the audience would invariably ask about BH's take on the book when I had my one-woman show and I still get it whenever I speak to groups.  Yes, "BH" has read it.  I sent him an early version of the manuscript before it was polished and asked if there was anything in there that he wanted taken out.  To his credit, he owned up to everything; after all, it's not a work of fiction.  And as soon as it was published, I sent a couple of copies off to New Zealand--one signed to him and another with just my name.  In fact, he even bought me the laptop on which all the creative magic took place.

For those of you who haven't read it, the story takes place from June 1, 2003, to June 1, 2004 and opens like this.
Today I put my bastard husband on a plane to the other side of the world. He wasn’t always a bastard. He was perfect and I loved everything about him. Well, almost everything. I may never see him again.

There were no last hugs, not even a half-hearted effort to put a few words together. I could have easily come to a rolling stop at the airport and pushed his ass into the passenger drop-off lane; instead, I parked in the short-term lot and stayed with him throughout the check-in process, hoping, I suppose, to see some flicker of caring on his part. But we plodded through the terminal in silence, and when we reached the security checkpoint where I could go no further, he looked in my direction and said, “See ya.”

See ya?

As he walked away and found his place in line, I gave him the finger, right there in the crowded airport. I do that a lot in public places, usually while trying to coax him off a barstool and away from a new-found friend with tavern wisdom far more compelling than anything I have to offer. Hell, I gave him the finger two nights ago in the Green Valley Ranch casino when I couldn’t pry him from the poker table before he marched off on his own because “the dealer gypped him.” He is never aware of my gesture, and although it’s not my most mature practice, I do enjoy an adolescent satisfaction in my passive-aggressive retaliation. It’s just that it wouldn’t have killed him to give me a proper good-bye.

See ya?
Despite what you might infer from this opening scene, and some others in the book, BH and I have remained on good terms over the years, though "good terms" seems like an understatement.  We've always had a strong connection that's transcended our separate hemispheres.  One incident continues to blow my mind.

I want to say this happened back in 2005, but I'm not exactly sure.  I was standing in my apartment, the one I describe in the first chapter, and I smelled smoke.  I'm sniffing around... sniffing, sniffing... but I can't figure out where it's coming from.  As I walked into the spare bedroom, I noticed my arm felt warm.  But I could not find the source of the smell or determine why I felt heat on my arm.

Later that day, I checked my email.  There was a message from BH:  "I've been sending you fire energy."  Well, I got it, all right.  That's the type of freaky connection I'm talking about.

About two years after BH moved to New Zealand, he returned to the U.S. to speak at a conference and arranged for a detour to Las Vegas so we could spend a couple of days--and nights--together.   We spent some time betting on the horses in the Green Valley Ranch sports book, did yoga as we used to, and shared our thoughts on some spiritual books we'd recently read. 

"You have to read Ask and It Is Given," I said, telling him what to do just like the old days. 

I've said a million times that BH and I didn't split up because of lack of compatibility, and when I took him to the airport at the end of his visit, the scene was entirely different.  I parked in the short-term lot and stayed with him through the check-in process as I had a couple of years before.  But this time, neither of us wanted to part, and we were happy to see his flight was delayed--we got a few more minutes to enjoy each other's company.  To kill some time, we stopped in a souvenir store with rows and rows of magnets.  We wandered around separately for a while and then met outside.  By that time, we needed to head toward security.

This time when I could go further, we stood and hugged each other tightly.  There was no "See ya"; instead, he said,  "I have something for you."

BH handed me a magnet with, of all things, a Bible quote written on it.  "Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find..."  Matthew 7:7.

"Thank you," I said.  "That's so thoughtful."  It really was.  "I have something for you, too."  I handed him the magnet I had picked out as a parting gift.

It said, "We've been through so much together... and most of it was your fault!"

BH loved it.  There's a reason why my book is subtitled "A Love Story."

Unless something changed, he's good with it.