Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Quick little story from 1973

I was a sophomore in the old Albany High School, which was down on lower Western Avenue.  One day in the cafeteria after lunch, a friend of mine asked if she could borrow a nickle.  She wasn't in my inner circle of friends, but I'd known her since elementary school and she was nice enough. 

I had thirty-five cents on me, just enough for bus fare.  I gave her a nickle, knowing I'd now have to walk nearly a mile and a half home after school. 

"Thanks," she said.  "Now I can have an ice cream sandwich and take the bus home."

I didn't ask for the nickle back, and I didn't enjoy the walk home that day, either.  But I did learn that sometimes you have to speak up for yourself; sometimes you can be too nice.  For a mere nickle, I sure got my money's worth in terms of lessons learned. 

P.S.  I saw her last summer while I was in Albany.  I'm totally thinner, probably because I got in that extra exercise.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Purgefest 2011

I've been organizing Linda Land today, going through my crap and throwing things out or giving them to Goodwill. I have everything pretty much under control, but could still get rid of a lot of stuff. 

Organizing is mentally draining, don't you think?  It's hard to decide just how deeply you want to cut.  I unloaded four boxes of books today that I know in real life I will probably never pick up again.  Clothes are harder for me to get rid of, especially the ones I like but no longer fit into.  It's hard to let go of the fantasy that I'm probably never going to weigh 130 again (which years ago was my "pig weight') (sigh), so they go in the pre-Goodwill bag for now.

Another dream I have to give up is organizing every single thing that I own.  There's always going to be a junk drawer and a couple of boxes of stuff that you just don't know what to do with, so you close the box and put it back in the closet.  These are the boxes that you're gonna move over and over again and then at some point you'll die and your kids will be stuck with them.

One of the books I opted to hold onto was this little gem.

You can't tell from the picture, but it's a little mini-book.  God knows where it came from, but there's nothing, and I mean nothing of value in there, not even from an entertainment standpoint. It's written by a man, but in my opinion, it's sexist as hell.  Vernon Howard wrote a lot of spiritual type of books, but this one...
#30:  BE INDEPENDENT.  Do you yearn to live your own life, to do what you really want to do?  It can be done, for the Higher View is a secret life.  You do what you really want because you really want to toss the mental junk out of your life and start fresh.  This independence is invisible, not physical.  You need not share it with a man unless he also wants to see beyond the ordinary.  Usually, he never notices anything beyond his dinner plate.
Yeah, the book is pretty worthless, so why did I hold on to it?  Just to see people's reactions when I pull it out in a public place.  Anything for a laugh, huh?

Hope you're all enjoying this Memorial Day weekend.  For a lot of us, this is the first three-day weekend since friggin' New Years.  That's so not right.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Whose negative thinking pissed off Mother Nature?

I don't believe in all the end of the world talk, but I cannot remember a time when there were so many natural disasters. Just since the beginning of the year, there's been the earthquake in Christchurch (which destroyed my cousin's home) and then the one that devastated Japan, and more recently there's been all the tornadoes in the South and Midwest and the flooding of the Mississippi River. And next week marks the start of hurricane season. Yikes.

Having spent three days in Mississippi last fall on my way back to Las Vegas, I can tell you that the last thing those people need is a flood. No, make that a problem of any kind. There's a lot of poverty in Mississippi, folks. And I'm not talking the "I thought this would be a good investment, but now I'm upside-down in my house" or the "I was hoping to go to Europe this summer, but we'll have to settle for the Cape instead" type of poverty.  We travelled through a good part of the state, and aside from the old plantations, it was all shacks and trailers. And the people couldn't have been nicer.

Here's a video we made as we drove along Route 61, much of which has been under water for a while now. (The music is from a CD of my kids' band, the Blackwell Sinners.)

Of course, you realize the people of Mississippi brought this upon themselves due to generations of a poverty mentality; obviously they haven't been thinking the proper thoughts of abundance. No doubt they brought the floods upon themselves, too. And of course, the people of Joplin, Missouri, collectively needed to experience total devastation in order to ascend to the next level of consciousness, as did the people in Japan and Christchurch, so those tornadoes were their own doing. In fact, my cousin subconsciously wanted new furniture and with those thoughts, sure as shit, she attracted a damn earthquake.

Pardon my sarcasm.  I'm still not over Thursday's rant on New Age guilt.

Speaking of, I happened to catch a PBS special during my Sunday couch day about happiness.  I agree that for the most part, personal happiness depends on one's attitude and general approach to life.  Optimistic people are going to be happier; pessimists will look for the negative.  Within the first 10 minutes of the show, there was New Age guru Louise Hay talking about people with Alzheimer's.  Her take on it? 

"People with Alzheimer's are really removing themselves from life completely."

So obviously, this tragic disease, which research has shown to have a genetic disposition, is really a the result of a weak character that manifests in the avoidance of everyday life; Alzheimer's is their way of checking out.  The PBS interviewer asked about the scientific evidence.

"I don't believe in scientific evidence," she said.

Then how does she know this is true? 

"My inner ding."

Louise Hay's classic book, You Can Heal Your Life has sold over 35 million copies.  I bought one years ago and I've given it many times as gifts.  At one point, I believed a lot more of what she says than I do today. 

One thing I've learned in my old middle age is it's best to consider other people's feedback and advice, use what makes sense to you, and ignore the rest (including what you read in this blog).  How do you know what to use to what to ignore?  Your "inner ding" will tell you.  And if your inner ding says that what goes around comes around, send some money off to the American Red Cross.  Sending prayers and positive thoughts is a good start, but rebuilding from nothing is gonna take a lot more than that.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Real-life Albany, NY, Craigslist ad -- FREE STUFF!

Courtney found this and sent me the link but by the time I tried it, it had been removed.  Thankfully, she thought ahead to copy it.

I have a husband is who is up for grabs !!! He has a job and makes good money

You are only entilted to him if you ....

1- Love to clean up after him

2- Dont mind taking care of his bum knees

3- Listening to him bitch contstantly

4- And make sure he is fed all day everyday...

If you can handle this email me, I will then foward you his name, number and address.

Please take him off my hands....
She probably tried to sell him on eBay first then thought, what the hell, I'll just give him away...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A day (and night) in the life of a Vegas granny

I had the greatest time Saturday night!

Actually, the whole day was great. It started early; at 8:30 a.m. I was in attendance at the monthly meeting of the Las Vegas chapter of the National Speakers Association. The featured speaker was Steve Kaplan, who told us all about the construction of comedy. His presentation was so informative, I stayed for the afternoon workshop as well and picked up a few pointers to integrate into my own presentation for last night’s meeting of the Henderson Writers Group.

Booya -- the man who made it happen
I was hoping to take a nap when I got home since I knew I had a big night ahead. One of my comic friends, Booya, masterminded a “Comedy All-Nighter” at Boomer’s, the bar where I first performed stand-up over 7 years ago. And I mean all-nighter—from midnight until breakfast at 9 a.m. I certainly didn’t plan on staying for the duration but I definitely wanted to make an appearance, so I was hoping to get in a little nap in the evening. Not meant to be—I was too wound up with anticipation.

At about 10:00, I hopped in the shower to revitalize and then headed over to catch the end of the Las Vegas Blues Society’s open jam at King Tut’s. What luck—as soon as I got there, my pal Rockin’ Billy and his band took the stage. Here’s a few minutes of their second song.

Rockin’ Billy is cool as hell; he was a big deal back in Chicago and has played with greats like Delbert McClinton and Stevie Ray Vaughn. We’re so lucky here to have such a great blues scene, as under-appreciated as it is.

After the open jam wound down, I headed over to Boomers and the place was hopping. The comedy had already started in the back room, but it took me a while to check it out since I got caught up talking with some old comic friends, including “Dr. Jim,” who’s not only an old boyfriend, but also the photographer who took the photo of me on the back cover of my book.

Photo by Dr. Jim
Sitting in the booth with everyone, I was just overwhelmed with joy. If you read my book you know that I started doing comedy during a real miserable time of life. I’d come to Las Vegas from Utah (of all goddamn places) after BH and I got divorced and I didn’t know a soul. I started going to open mics at Boomers just to get out of the house; little did I know how my life would change. The comics—we’re talking young guys, some younger than my kids—were incredibly sweet to me and they still are. I’ll always be grateful for their friendship.

As I said, the place was packed and everyone was in rare form. I have to say the highlight was when my (very good looking) friend Brandt Tobler concluded his hosting hour by emerging from the curtain… naked. Okay, he was wearing a sock. If you have some time to kill at work today, check out Brandt’s website, especially his “What is it like to date a porn star” post. Kids today.

Well, I finally got on stage at 4:45 and by then I was definitely starting to fade. I was amazed that the house was still full; it was like we were doing a telethon except there were no kids in wheelchairs. After my set I decided to call it a night, but I’ll tell you, this 53-year-old was pretty goddamn proud to be strolling in at sunrise.

Hell, yeah, I still have it in me, partying like it’s 1979! Just your typical Vegas granny…

Needless to say, Sunday was a couch day.

The whole gang!  (Photo by Dr. Jim)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

How to survive your day job until you can quit your day job

Some of you may know that I worked for several years in the field of corporate outplacement where I taught job search skills to people who’d been “downsized” or “identified as redundant” or whatever the euphemism of the day is. This started as an email to a friend who’s less than happy about her job situation and then as I was writing I thought, hey, this would make a good post. If you’re one of the lucky ones who loves your job, hallelujah! to you. But if you know anyone who’s struggling, pass this on. Hope it helps!

I’ve always envied those folks who knew from day one exactly what they wanted to be when they grew up. Usually their intended profession was something like a teacher or a fireman or a nurse, and that’s exactly what they studied in college and that’s exactly what they became when they grew up and they loved their job and they lived happily ever after, amen. I don’t actually know anyone like that, but I hear they’re out there.

For most of us, works means spending a big chunk of our lives in a place we’d rather not be. Maybe you’re “really” an artist or musician and need a day job to pay the bills until you can start making a living from your art. Maybe you’re in the profession you actually went to college for, but it’s not what you expected and you’re barking up the wrong tree. Or maybe you’ve been in a career for several years and have come to the realization that the bloom is off the rose and it’s time to move on.

Or maybe you still don’t know what you want to be when you grow up. Don’t feel bad; you’re not alone. The comedian Paula Poundstone has a great line--she says the reason we’re always asking kids what they want to be when they grow up is that we’re looking for ideas.

If that’s the case and you still have no friggin’ clue, it’s time to become more aware of what your God-given talents are. What do people compliment you on? What do you like to do? What do you do better than 99 percent of everyone else? How can you share that talent with the rest of the world? How can you make money by sharing that talent?

Ultimately, it would be wonderful to be able to making a living by sharing your God-given talents, instead of your apparent talent for tolerating menial work or a difficult supervisor. But the reality is, you’re not a Hilton sister or married to a millionaire and so you need to work so you can have some kind of quality of life beyond 9 – 5.

I can’t stress this point enough: Your mission is to get through those 8 hours in the most painless way possible while you continue to identify and develop your God-given talents and strategize exactly how you’ll be able to capitalize on them.

To do that, it’s important that your job doesn’t sap every bit of your time and energy so that you’re too tired at the end of the day to pursue your real-life goals. If you’re completely wasted after work without an iota of energy, it’s time to put out the feelers for another opportunity. On the other hand, if you spend every night channel surfing on the couch or wasting time on the Internet, you gotta put an end to that right now. If you don’t, you’re not serious about making a move. End of story.

I have been lucky as hell with my work situation this past year. Now, do I think God put me on this earth to edit technical documentation? Hardly. But with this job I can work from home, I have a competent and fair boss and hilarious coworkers whom I truly adore, and it doesn’t wipe me out. I still have plenty of energy for creative pursuits like my writing and stand-up. Would I rather be making good money from speaking engagements and book royalties? Of course. But this will do for now.

Okay, what if you really don’t like your job? How do you get through those 8 hours as painlessly as possible?

First, remember that no experience is ever wasted; everything fits together in the big picture of life. Identify tasks you do in your current position that somehow make use of your talents and the skills that are somehow related to your ultimate goal. In my case, my skill as a technical writer/editor helps make my creative writing tighter and crisper. In comedy, you have to get to the punch line in as few words as possible—in tech writing, you have to express the content as economically as possible, too. See the connection?

Second, look for conditions of your job that you consider to be favorable. Maybe you have a short commute, a pleasant work environment, the ability to work autonomously, a fair and competent boss, awesome coworkers, the opportunity to play with the latest technology… the value you assign to your job all depends on what’s important to you. Focus on the positive and appreciate the good. It could be a lot worse—ever get a pedicure?

Finally, be thankful for what you have. Never say you hate your job. The fact is, you can’t live without it or you would; you need the money and most likely would be effed without the paycheck, right? So don’t complain about where you are right now; that’s not a smart way to spend your energy. Spend your energy lining things up so you can make a move.

You’ll find your job will be more tolerable when you identify what it actually means to you. You’ll no longer feel like you’re compromising your values; you’ll find that you resist it less. You’ll realize that you stay in it not out of a sense of resignation, but as strategy; it’s a stepping stone to your next level of personal or professional development.

Does that make sense?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Happy Friday!

Please be sure to check out the comments from yesterday's post--very thoughtfully articulated and I couldn't agree more.

And here's the latest picture of Baby Hazel and her mini-me that I can't resist posting.  That baby makes me melt!

Have a great day!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Another Linda Lou rant: New Age guilt

I had a lively conversation about this the other night with a new friend.  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I'm not a religious person (duh), but I've often said I consider myself to be "spiritual," a word that kind of means whatever its user wants it to mean.  Most people think of spiritual as believing in some benign higher power or energy that, if not running the whole show, is at least trying to be a good director.  Along with spiritual, there's a lot of lingo like "New Age" and "metaphysical"that I tend to use interchangeably, though I know some smarty pants out there would be more than happy to explain the distinction.

If you've read my book, you know that I used to be pretty into that stuff--whatever you want to call it--and I still believe in a lot of it.  I definitely think there's something to The Law of Attraction, which basically states that what we attract into our lives is determined by the vibration we're operating at.  (I know I'm losing some of you, but stick with me.)  Ever notice that shit tends to hit the fan all at once? And when a lot of good things happen, you're on a roll.
So yeah, I get that.  I also believe there's a strong mind-body connection; we all know how great you feel when you're starting to get in shape.  I believe that your thoughts are powerful and can have a profound effect on your health.  Science has proven that stress is a killer, right?

A lot of New Age/metaphysical/whatever-you-want-to-call-it people believe that disease is caused by one's thoughts.  For example, I've heard it said that resentment manifests itself as cancer.  So let me get this straight...  people get cancer because they've done a crappy job handling their emotions?  It's their own damn fault?  See, this is why there's something called "New Age guilt."    

These people also believe that one can "will" disease away with their thought patterns.  OK, I have no doubt that there are a lot of folks out there who have beaten the odds and who attribute their renewed health to a positive attitude and prayers from a loving support system.  And I believe those factors are essential--I'm totally on board with that.

But not everything is mind over matter, as they tend to affirm.  There are also a lot of people, like my Beautiful Aunt Joyce, who was the cleanest-living person on earth and who did every goddamn thing under the sun to stay alive--reiki, meditation, visualization, blah, blah, blah--and who died anyway.  Are you telling me she didn't try hard enough?  People who don't win the battle simply didn't think the "right" thoughts?  That they subconsciously wanted to die?  Sure, they went through all the motions, but they didn't truly believe they could overcome the disease, is that what we're supposed to think?

Again, do you see why there's something called New Age guilt?

I have a lot of friends who've been dealing with cancer over the past few months.  Thank God, Jesus, Buddha, Allah, and Bono--they all are doing well.  But if anyone tells me they've brought this onto themselves and if they have a setback it's because they're not adept enough at channeling the proper healing thought patterns, mark my words I will kick their ass.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Relationships we keep and those we let go

Lately I’ve been contacted by people I haven’t heard from in ages. Last week out of nowhere I got a pleasant email from BH, whom I hadn’t heard from in about 6 months. I swear there’s still a cosmic connection there.

Then on Saturday, I got a call from my friend Neil, one of the first friends I made in Las Vegas and who makes a cameo appearance in my book as a fellow germ-a-phobic. Neil moved to Oregon a few years ago and the last time I tried his number it was no longer in service. I’ve been thinking about him lately and was feeling sad that maybe we’d lost touch for good, so I was psyched to hear his voice.

We could have talked for hours, but after a good 45 minutes I had to run to meet my cousin Johnny, who’s in town for a conference. The last time I saw Johnny was at my aunt’s funeral. I had a great time laughing with him and his wife, Pam, over lunch at the Venetian. He’s a freakin’ riot (everyone in my family is a comedian).

When I got home, I got a call from a friend from my writers’ group—another person I haven’t seen in ages, and I swear I have talked to him on the phone maybe one other time in the years that I’ve known him. Then later that evening, I got a text from my old friend (and star of what I think is probably the best chapter in my book), “Vietnam Paul.” He wanted to know if I was up for a drink that night, but I was on my way to a friend’s house up in North Las Vegas. I haven’t seen Paul in years, and I do hope we can get together soon because he is one of my favorite—and most entertaining—friends on earth.

So weird that I should have so many blasts from the past, first BH and then the other four in a single day. You have to wonder about the cosmic energy of the universe.

Anyway, these are all people I was more than happy to hear from. I’m so lucky to have so many friends, and I’m usually pretty good at maintaining friendships. Sometimes, though, I think you can hang on to people out of habit, and sometimes it’s best to let them go.

I remember one Sunday night several years ago. I met a friend for a beer and boy, was I ready for one. I'd just come off three exhilarating, though exhausting, days at the Las Vegas Writer's Conference and was still bubbling with excitement. This was back when I was pitching Bastard Husband: A Love Story.

"I connected with two agents and an acquisitions editor who are interested in my book," I gushed. "They all want to see the first 50 pages, and two of them want an annotated table of contents. Isn't that great?"

My friend politely let me continue.

"Plus I taught four sessions during the conference—I got some really nice feedback—and…"

At that point he cut me off. "Wait a minute," he said, shaking his head. "Let me ask you, what have you published?" Before I could say a word, he added, "And I don't mean…"

What he didn't mean, and the answer I was poised to respond with, was the excerpt from my book that was published in an anthology of Las Vegas Valley writers. I could tell such a minor publication didn't count in his eyes.

And what he did mean--what he really wanted to say--was, Who are you to be teaching anyone anything? You're not even published.

I took a breath and swallowed the venom on the tip of my tongue.
"I know where you're going that question," I calmly replied. "The sessions were on technical writing, how to track your agent queries, and how to get the most out of the conference. I actually know a little something about those topics." My answer satisfied him, but I seethed for quite a while longer.

I can't think of another time when I went from elation to deflation in such a flash, though I'm reminded of a boyfriend I once had who, whenever I mentioned any glimmer of optimism surrounding my book, would invariably respond with, "I hate to see you get your hopes up." He hated to see me get my hopes up? What is an artist without hope??? Needless to say, he wasn't my boyfriend for long.

There's a lesson here for all of us who are writers, artists, musicians, or other creative types: We have to be careful who we hang out with. We face enough rejection in our artistic pursuits; we sure as hell don't need our friends (or relatives) tainting our energy fields with doubt and negativity. I'm not saying they're bad people; they just don't understand. And I'm willing to bet they either have no artistic inclination themselves, or just as likely, they did at one time and someone (probably their parents) rewarded them the same skepticism they're now passing on to us.

The point is, we can't expect these people to be a source of encouragement. Rather than risk having to defend our dreams, it's best to not even bring them up. Restrict the conversation to the weather. Better to identify your kindred spirits and share your successes and challenges with them instead.

Sometimes it’s in your best interest to let some relationships fizzle out.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

More bathroom humor--literally

One of the many fabulous things about Las Vegas is that we have some fantastic places to, um… relieve one’s self. Here’s a photo of the ladies room at The Wynn. You almost feel bad about doing what you went in there to do.

I know what you're thinking:  "No syringe disposal?"

You can get used to this level of opulence. A few years ago it really hit me just how spoiled I’d become. Like everyone else, I’d been eagerly awaiting my economic stimulus money from the IRS. For a nanosecond I considered putting it toward my credit card balance, but that would be no fun, so instead I booked a flight to New Orleans, figuring I’d charitably pump a few bucks into their strained economy. Altruism always feels better when blended with self-indulgence.

The widespread news coverage of the lingering devastation from Hurricane Katrina in the lower ninth ward and around the 17th Street levy did not prepare me for the hardship I witnessed first-hand in the French Quarter, an area supposedly spared by Katrina’s wrath. There, in a restaurant on Esplanade Street, I had no choice but to use a toilet that didn’t automatically flush. That’s right, I had to stand there and face my own waste and then flush it away with a disgusted kick to the handle.

Afterward, my hands hovered in the sink and then under the soap dispenser in desperate search of a triggering sensor—nothing. I had to manually turn the faucet and push a lever for the soap to come out. On top of that, the lighting was so poor I needed a seeing-eye dog to apply my lip liner. I’m telling you, amid those third world conditions, I felt more like a Peace Corps volunteer than a tourist on vacation.

Could I BE any lazier?

One time it all backfired on me. I was having drinks and dinner with a friend at McMullins Irish Pub on Tropicana next to the Orleans and had to use the ladies' room. Well, I left my pocketbook on the edge of the sink while I applied my lipstick and somehow it fell into the sink, triggering the water sensor along the way. I must have looked like an idiot standing there watching water gush into the contents of my open bag, but to this day I laugh about it every time I'm in there.

But hey, nothing compares to this. Remember those cloth towels (usually found in dive bars) that just wound around and you’d have to find a clean patch to dry your hands on? I thought they were outlawed long ago, but no, my sister Lori and I came across one on our first cross-country road trip last May. I forget where we were; somewhere down South.


(My arms are not that fat in real life.)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

There's a first time for everything

Usually I don't take pictures when I'm in public bathroom--I think it's a good policy for everyone to follow--but when I saw this sign I couldn't resist.


You may ask, Linda, where the hell are you hanging out?  Seriously!  I could maybe imagine this sign in a lab or hospital or some other medical facility.  But where did I find this gem?

In a CASINO!!!  No kidding--I snapped that in the Aquarius Casino a couple of weeks ago when I was in Laughlin for the bike rally.  

Somebody enlighten me--I find this startling.  If I had to venture a guess, I'd say it's for diabetics, maybe?  But if there's that many people in the general population injecting themselves with God knows what, I'd say it looks like we Americans are falling apart, no?

I'd love to know the chain of events that led to this.  I picture a 4'2" Mexican cleaning lady complaining to her boss.  These needles in the trash... I prick myself.  And then the boss finally putting in a requisition for a syringe receptacle to Purchasing--Consuelo's bitchin' again, and since she's a legal one, she might call OSHA--and then someone approving the purchase order and a maintenance guy installing it.

I have questions.  Like okay, let's say there's a real need for a syringe disposal... then why aren't we seeing these things all over?  (I'm thinking the bathrooms in Walmart would be a prime location.)  Where are all the rest of the needles going?  Is the Aquarius onto something that the Wynn and Bellagio should get hip to?

What do you make of this?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Today's rant: Wait staff calling customers "you guys"

So last weekend I was up in Idaho visiting Mom and Stepdaddy. Sunday morning I woke up and, because I’m so freakin’ gay for my iPhone I keep it in bed with me when Mike’s not around and sometimes even when he is, the first thing I do is check Facebook. Because God knows what could have happened overnight while I was sleeping, right?

So anyway, everybody’s all like, “Happy Mother’s Day, blah, blah, blah…” (am I the only one who thinks Facebook is boring as hell whenever there’s a holiday?) and I’m thinking I should post some kind of sentiment on my mother’s profile (yes, she’s on Facebook, too) and then I was like, wait a minute, I could just get out of bed and tell her “Happy Mother’s Day” to her face since she is, in fact, right in the next room.

And that’s just what I did, about a half-hour later. The worst part is, while I was being lazy eff-ing around on my iPhone, Mom and Stepdaddy were out in the living room doing yoga. How bad am I?

Sunday was a rainy day in Boise, so Mom canceled our dinner reservation at a restaurant where you can sit outside on the water. But now where to go? Everyone and their brother’s carting Mom out to dinner that day and everyplace would be packed. Stepdaddy suggested we go to Hooters, which I thought was a brilliant idea, but my mother was all, “We’re not going to goddamn Hooters on Mother’s Day,” so we went to Texas Roadhouse.

Texas Roadhouse is a chain—the food was excellent and they had a great brown ale on tap—but if I have one complaint, and you know I do... Okay, am I the only one who thinks it’s wrong for wait staff in their teens and 20s or of any age, for that matter, to address customers as “you guys”? I swear, the hostess who sat us said “you guys” no less than four times before we got to our booth, including this little gem:

“How is your guys-es day goin’?”

I just wanted to say, “Look, Ashley/MacKenzie/Madison/Tiffany or whatever your trendy name is, when you’re seating a white-haired couple and their extremely youthful looking daughter/stepdaughter, don’t freakin’ address them as “you guys.” I did customer service training for Fleet Bank years ago, and I would fail someone if they did that. Seriously.

OMG, is there no end to my bitching?

Have a great day, you guys!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A few minutes of my last stand-up set

Happy Mother's Day--yeah, yeah, yeah.  I'm up in Idaho chillin' with Mom and when I'm travelling, it's hard to put up a proper post.  You understand.

So in lieu of a proper post, here's something that's about as improper as you can get:  this link to a couple of minutes of my last stand-up show in Albany.  The picture isn't great, but the audio is what really matters anyway.   It's entitled "What breast cancer can suck."

This isn't searchable and I've enabled some privacy settings.  I can't even embed it in this post; the only way you can access this clip is from the link.  (You can share it all you want, though.)  I've been debating whether to make it public at all, but I shared it with a few friends and everyone thought it was freakin' hilarious and that I should at least share it with my blog readers. 

If you're a long-time reader, you know what I've said before about breast cancer--it's in that vein.  Click at your own risk--you've been warned!

P.S. Remember, the camera adds 10 pounds.  No, I think it's 20.

P.P.S.  If you can tolerate this, you'll love my book.  I promise.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Runway walker/bird shoo-er

Last night I was walking around The District in Green Valley Ranch in search of the perfect Mother's Day present and Mother's Day card for the perfect mother and I'm like semi-pissed off because every year I seem to get her something from Coldwater Creek or Talbot's or Chico's and there I was heading for those exact stores again this year and what the hell is wrong with me that I can't be more imaginative like my sister Lori who got her the most awesome present on earth but I can't tell you what it is because Mom reads this blog and I can't ruin the surprise.

Anyway, I'm on a mission and am probably sporting one of those determined faces that you hope nobody takes a picture of because in real life you're much prettier than that, and out of nowhere a young security guard, probably in his 20's but I can't tell because he's b-l-a-c-k and he was probably actually about 60 because you know black people age much better than us white folk. 

That's not racist, it's complimentary.

Anyway, he says to me, "You walk like a model.  You know that, right?" and in a nanosecond my determined face morphed into a pretty version of my face and I was all sweet and said, "Oh, thank-kwew!" like some coy Southern belle instead of the brash  Yankee that I am and then I was thinking, "Yeah, people always comment on my walk, and I know I have a certain strut, probably because of years of ballet and yoga" but my thoughts were interrupted when I noticed a bunch of filthy pigeons on the sidewalk ahead of me, which sent me into my "other" walk, which is stamping my feet while jiggling my keys and clearing my throat so all the goddamn birds fly away before I near them and that's the walk I hope the security guy didn't see.

Anyway, I probably should come clean and tell you that I am, in fact, a model and that I actually Photoshop-ed my friend Adrian's head onto my body in that picture I posted on Tuesday because I've always wondered what I would look like with long, thick, curly hair.

And now I know.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Some eye candy for the men today

Usually my posts are a yenta fest, but today I'll make it all up to you, guys.  You're in for a treat.

On Saturday I made my annual trip down to Laughlin for the River Run--what a blast!  The town was buzzing, with events at every hotel along the Colorado River and music stages and vendor tents everywhere.

I can't claim to be a biker chick--I'm way too Private Benjamin/Princess and the Pea--but as most of you know, my sister Lori rides a Harley and I myself love the biker culture.  Why?  My friend Gail and I talked about this as we strolled along.  Whether you're at an event such as Laughlin or a biker bar like the Connor Hotel in Jerome, you always get the feeling that everyone is welcome.  I never feel intimidated or get the "what the hell are you doing here?" vibe.  No one's judging what you're wearing or how fat you are or how old you are...  these are accepting people from all walks of life who are just out for a good time.  And the classic rock biker music can't be beat!

This year was particularly fun because I had a personal stake in the Miss Laughlin 2011 beauty contest held at the Aquarius Casino Resort. Oh, please... no, I was NOT one of the contestants, but my friend Adrian was, and it was exciting as hell to see her take second place and a $500 cash prize, even beating the chick who had the title for a few years in a row.

After the contest, we met up with Adrian in the parking lot of the Pioneer Hotel and Gambling Hall, where she was working a beer booth (with a mechanical bull that I've always wanted to test ride, but was too timid.)

Can you believe I have a friend this hot?  At one point Adrian was like, "Linda, let's get a picture of the two of us together" and I was like, "Get the hell away from me.  I look pretty good until I stand next to you!" 

I got to know Adrian through my book. Her mother, my dear friend Lisa Gioia-Acres, passed it on for her to read, and then Adrian contacted me and we've been friends ever since.  The best thing about Adrian is that she's just as beautiful on the inside.  She's intelligent and has a killer sense of humor and is just bursting with spirit.  I think that's why she does so well in these contests--she won Miss Bike Week Las Vegas last fall.  Gail and I both noticed that while most of the other girls flaunted their sexuality on stage, Adrian came across as just a good-time gal who happens to have a killer body.  You could tell she doesn't take herself too seriously.

So having Adrian in the contest this year really added to the fun.  I'll let you know when she'll be doing other events and you can cheer her on, too. 

And guys...  You're welcome!