Sunday, July 31, 2011

In San Diego today

Can you believe I didn't post yesterday? I never miss a scheduled day!

I'm writing this from my phone, so please excuse any typos. Right now my sister and I are in San Diego, at Lori's sister-in-law and her husband's house. I have lots to tell you, but it's a pain to peck away at this i-Phone, so I'll wait till I get back home.

In the meantime, enjoy your weekend! I'll post again soon.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Video blog: Poolside at Linda Land

My sister Lori flew in last night--yay!  Here's a video we took on my lunch hour today. There's some background noise from the waterfall, but you can still hear it fine. That's Lori at the beginning--those aren't my boobs!

Remember I told you about my gay as hell one-piece bathing suit?  I wasn't kidding.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Feeling low? Check out the quote of the day

"Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes."  -- W. Gibson
I have no idea who Mr. or Ms. Gibson is, but I suspect this person is a direct descendant of Benjamin Franklin.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Is the importance of good nutrition just a wee bit overrated?

Hold on, now. I'm not saying you should live on nothing but McDonald's; Morgan Spurlock in his movie Super Size Me proved just how dangerous that is. These fast food facts from the Super Size Me website are enough to scare the crap out of anyone.  So we agree it's just nutty to eat fast food more than just occasionally, right?

Knock on wood, I'm a pretty healthy gal who doesn't look all that bad for her age (53).  Lucky me, I've been slender all my life and have been able to eat pretty much whatever I wanted.  I gotta tell you, though, I've never wanted fruits and vegetables.  With the exception of watermelon and blueberries, fruit just doesn't do it for me.  Oh, I can force down an orange or cantaloupe as long as long as I dip it in chocolate syrup. 

As far as vegetables go, I don't mind spinach and broccoli (smothered in butter, of course).  A nutritionist I met at a blues festival a couple of years ago told me that because I have hypothyroidism, I shouldn't eat broccoli.  I was like, Jesus H, that's one of the few healthy foods I actually enjoy and you're telling me that broccoli is bad for me?  I give up.

I don't particularly care for beef, but I do eat a lot of chicken and fish.  I freakin' love pasta, and thankfully, I'm not a snacker.  I don't go for potato chips or cookies or candy.  Ice cream, hell yeah, but I've substituted 60-calorie sorbet and it does the trick just fine.  I gave up soda years ago--unsweetened iced tea is what I drink instead.

So I guess I don't have a horrible diet, and I do have exercise going for me, but as I've told you before, the only things I buy at Whole Foods are hair dye and Young's Chocolate Stout beer.  Speaking of Whole Foods, have you ever seen a health food nut who inspired you to eat better?  I've met people who were totally into vegan diets and raw foods and all that shit, and to tell you the truth, I never thought they looked any better than the rest of the general population.

I will say I've met people who look so radiant and amazingly young for their age that I begged them to spill the beans and share their secret. I don't recall anyone attributing their good looks to a healthy diet or a special vitamin concoction or even drinking a ton of water.  But you know what?  I think having a positive attitude is the best thing you can do for your looks and probably your health, too.  I've got that going for me, too.

And thank God I never smoked.  That, I am convinced, is the single worst thing you can do to yourself.  On so many levels. 

Anyway, I guess what I'm getting at is, are fruits and vegetables all they're cracked up to be?  How healthy does one really have to eat to live a decent life?  Have you ever felt better by changing your diet?  What's your take on this?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

If I could, I would kiss every one of you on the lips. Maybe even tongue.

Forgive me for that, but I am one grateful blogger.  First, thanks to those of you who contributed to Courtney's MS walkathon. Someone very dear to us is facing that disease and we're all so appreciative of your help.

And to all the lurkers who decided to come forward on Wednesday--it was great that so many of you commented on Wednesday's Lurkers Come Out of the Closet Day post!  I have yet to hear from Mr. or Ms. Reader in St. Francisville, Louisiana, though. I swear, I will freakin' come to your town and knock on every single door (how many can there be?) until I find you!

July 17 was my three-year blogiversary. I am pretty proud of myself for keeping it up, and on a regular schedule.  I have to--my mother would kill me if I stopped and even though I'm fifty-goddamn-three years old, I still don't want to piss her off.  And if there's a typo or grammatical error, trust me, I will here about it.  (I did that on purpose just to get her riled up.) (Three, two, one... phone call from Mom.)

I started blogging because I'd been told I should build a platform, or a following, for when my book came out.  That was a good strategy all right, but even more important is that my blog has turned out to be a documentation of my life; if I ever forget what I've been doing over the past three years, it's all right here, complete with pictures. Cool.  

The best part about blogging?  The friends I've made--by far.  Two years ago last Memorial Day, Julie of 47 and Starting Over fame booked almost a week in Las Vegas to stay at my apartment with me sight unseen.  Can you imagine?  We knew each other only through the bloggy world!  Dar of the now defunct Travel Girl blog stayed just for an overnight and we had a ball.

 We all got along perfectly.  You really can know people through their blogs and I bet 99.9% of the time they're exactly the people you'd expect them to be.  No surprises.

Since then I've had the pleasure of meeting several Las Vegas bloggers--including my good friends "Mystical Journeys" Donna, former blogger and "Private Guy"  Vegas Flea, and our man Hurricane Mikey--as well as readers who've come to town for a Vegas getaway.  I've met Linda from Wisconsin, Mandy from Arizona, Tricia from Michigan, fellow writers Debbie Write on Target in Pennsylvania (Jesus H, what a hot body on that one) and Suzanne Palmieri in Connecticut, and my utterly incorrigible adopted daughter, Tara, a.k.a. I Can't Help It, I'm Just Me.  God love her, she's not even my blood kid and she's giving me gray hairs. 

A couple of weeks ago I got to meet "Sous Chef" from Minnesota.  We'd corresponded for quite some time via email and I absolutely adored her, but I have to admit, I was a little nervous about meeting her in person. She's a fabulous writer and smart as hell, and I was thinking, "Shit, she's gonna be so disappointed when she meets me."  But then when we talked on the phone, she sounded so fun and I could tell she had great energy and sure enough, when I met her I positively loved her.  You can read her account of our meeting on her blog, where she refers to me as, yes, a "red hot granny."  The only thing she left out is that I'm actually way better looking in real life. (ha!) It was great meeting her and her friend Mary and though I never thought I'd say this, I can't wait to go to Minnesota next winter (!) for the annual re-enactment of The Band's "The Last Waltz."  I even have a place to stay.

Off the top of my head, there are a few other bloggers I'd love to meet.  I've emailed back and forth with Barbara of Layla's Classic Rock quite a bit and she's a sweet and kind person, I just know it.  Someday we're gonna have at least two bottles of wine together.  She's had some struggles with her son and I have actually lost sleep thinking about her.  The I Hate to Weight blogger in New Jersey is another one who's close to my heart.  I think about her a lot, too, but I believe in my heart that for the most part her challenges are behind her and she is about to bloom like crazy. 

I'd love to meet Simone of Chocolate Covered Daydreams but I kind of think she's one of those super-nice people who is definitely going to heaven for all her sweetness and clean living. I'm probably too much of a foul-mouthed lush for her taste, but nonetheless, it would be good for me to hang around someone like her.  At least once in a while.

On the other end of the spectrum, I'm dying to meet that freakin' whack job Debbie of From Venting to Viggio.  Seriously, if there's anyone who can make me feel like a perfectly normal person with no mental problems whatsoever, it's that one.  For some reason I envision a night out with her ending up with both of us shitfaced in Tijuana. Possibly in jail.

And then there's Krissyface.  She's gotten away from blogging; every once in a while she still posts on FERTILE.  Krissyface is a New York City girl who now lives in Baton Rouge. She's so hip and talented and has such a warped sense of humor that I hope I never meet her because I am simply not cool enough.  Like I'm sure I'm a total dork next to her.  Yeah, I said dork.

R. Jacob Post blog is thoughtful and entertaining.  If anyone believes that good men are hard to find, I suggest you head over there.  I've had the pleasure of talking with Ray on the phone; he's a super nice guy.

There are so many other bloggers and readers I'd love to see in the flesh.  All in due time.  I plan to continue to blog for quite a while.  Mom has at least another 20 or 30 years in her, so let's just hope I can keep coming up with interesting content.  In the meantime, I continue to encourage lurkers to come out, come out wherever you are.  I so dig hearing from you.

And you in St. Francisville?  Don't make me put a bounty on your head.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and if you can, please send a buck or two over to Courtney's MS site.  Thank you, thank you, thanks a million!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Readers, can you spare one dollar for a worthy cause?

If you're a long-time reader, you no doubt have taken delight in the many stories about my daughter, Courtney.  The classic, of course, is her remark on the eve of Martin Luther King Day; it's a miracle I haven't yet integrated that little gem into my comedy act.  There are a million Courtney stories--everyone who knows her has one--and if you're new to this blog, click this link and your productivity for the day will be shot to hell.

My freakin' clone
Court's a blast (the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree) and she's truly beautiful inside and out. Last fall one of her closest friends, and someone I consider to be a member of our family, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  I understand there have been some significant advancements thanks to ongoing research, but it still sucks.  It's a terrible disease.

Well, Courtney and three of her friends, the "Albany Angels," are trying to raise $6000 between so they can participate in a 3-day, 50-mile walkathon that will be held on Cape Cod in September.  In her own words, here's why she decided to take this challenge:
A few months back, a friend of mine told me that she had been diagnosed with MS. My heart immediately sank. To be totally honest, I didn't know much about the disease at all. I knew it was out there, I knew it was no good, but I never put to much thought into it because I never knew anyone with MS. But that has changed! Now, I will do ANYTHING to make this disease go away for ever!
Courtney didn't hit me up for this, but I'm taking it upon myself to ask you all for a wee bit of help as she supports a worthy cause. If you can make a small donation to Court's MS Walk with Purpose web page, both of us would be SO appreciative.  Even one dollar would help--if every one of my readers donated just a dollar, the girls would be well on their way to achieving their goal.

Thank you in advance.  For everything.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lurkers: do you know what today is?

Today is officially "Lurkers Come Out of the Closet Day."  Not that you're in that closet!  (Not that there's anything wrong with it...)

No, I just decided that today I'd like to ask my beloved lurkers to, um, expose yourselves.  I know I have some super dedicated and loyal readers who have never, ever commented and quite frankly, you're making me crazy.  I so want to know something about you.  Anything!

That means YOU in St. Francisville, Louisiana. (You're my Grand Poo-bah.)  Yep, as we drove through Louisiana on my last cross-country road trip I swear I was ready to stand in your town square a la What About Bob? and yell for you to make yourself known.  Who the heck are you in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin?  Godley, Texas?  Beverly Hills, California, and Beverly Hills, Florida?  I also have a bunch of readers in exotic places in Canada like Sarnia, Ontario, and Richmond, British Columbia, who evidently prefer to keep to themselves. And don't even get me started on the whole state of Minnesota. 

Come on, you guys know everything about me.  Can't you share just a little tidbit of info about yourself?  If you've never commented before, why not do so today?  Pleeeeeeease!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Yep, I'm "out there" all right!

Last Tuesday night I got together with a friend I met in the bloggy world for a couple of Guinnesses.  He's a really cool local guy who used to blog, but gave it up a while back.  (It's a lot of work, folks.)  I won't say his name because he's a private kind of person, which kind of leads me to the topic of this post. 

Private Guy mentioned how different we are and remarked that I've put my life totally "out there" for all to see.  He wasn't making a value judgment or anything, just an observation, but he got me thinking about how I got to be like this. 

It's weird because as a young child, I was very shy and quiet.  I never wanted to call attention to myself and was positively a wreck anytime I had to get in front of the class to speak.  I loved school, though, and in fourth grade I was placed on an academically talented track.  I was a perfect little student.

In junior high I became best friends with a funny, ballsy Jewish girl who'd do crazy things I would only dream of.  We were like Blossom from the TV show and her little friend.  We skipped classes all the time and whenever we got in trouble, the teachers, hall monitors, or administrators would direct their admonishments to Joan, figuring she was the brains behind the misdeeds and I just went along for the ride.  Which was pretty much the truth.

By high school, I'd become much more outgoing.  I was a cheerleader (captain) and was voted vice president of my senior class.  I wasn't clique-y or anything and years later, in my forties, I ran into a guy from Albany High who told me I was always the nicest girl.  That meant a lot.  I still wasn't particularly "out there," though, and I've had several people from the old days tell me how surprised they are that I'm doing comedy. 

"No offense," one friend said, "but I never thought you were that funny." 

No offense taken; I completely understood.  No one could have ever predicted I'd end up writing a memoir about rebuilding my life in Las Vegas (of all friggin' places) after my second divorce (!) and doing stand-up comedy. Talk about being out there.

I think the turning point in my transformation occurred in the 1990s when I started doing corporate training.  During those years I taught job search skills to displaced workers through a major corporate outplacement firm.  Talk about a tough audience, but I was able to win them over with my humor and technical writing skills; I was fun to be with and they knew they'd get a kick-ass resume at the end of the two- or three-day workshop.  I also taught business and technical writing through a local community college's Business and Industry Center.  Then in 2000, I trained newly hired bank personnel in sales and customer service skills.  I loved doing classroom training, and that's where I honed my presentation skills.   Had it not been for my training experience, I don't think I'd ever have had the nerve to try stand-up at all.

So it's been gradual transformation and now, as my friend pointed out over our Guinnesses, my life is truly--and literally--an open book.  I figure, why the hell not?  If someone can learn from my mistakes, be inspired by my experiences, or laugh at my general assholey-ness, that's just fantastic. 

I think I told you before that I truly believe my purpose in life is to "help other access, acknowledge, and accept their God-given talents and encourage them to share them with the rest of the world."  That came to me several years ago while I was meditating and it is one of my fundamental truths. 

So maybe the best way to fulfill that purpose is by sharing my own life.  Sometimes I still can't believe that anyone's actually interested, but as I write this 576th blog post and celebrate my 3-year blog anniversary, I sure am grateful that you seem to be. 

Thank you to all!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

"I'm Problematic, You're Problematic"

The other day one of my best friends (who doesn't read this blog) emailed me and asked if I was back with Mike yet.  "You don't have a good history of ridding yourself of problematic men," she wrote.  "As a matter of observation, I would say you are magnetized to them."

Um, just how am I supposed to react to that? 

I suppose I could start by asking, who the fuck isn't problematic?  By the time we're 50, most of us have a shitload of baggage and personal idiosyncrasies that would drive anyone up the wall.  It's not like when we were in college and were pretty much a lump of clay yet to be molded. 

We all sit somewhere on the "problematic" scale and granted, some of us weigh in a lot more heavily than others.  Bastard Husband was/still is a drinker and that was definitely a problem in our marriage.  In comparison, Mike's a lightweight.  He's a certifiable genius, but that brilliance can be a freakin' curse when it comes to day-to-day life skills.  Add young children into the mix, plus the fact that I'm a self-diagnosed "Highly Sensitive Person" (a.k.a. "Pain in the Fucking Ass") and we have a perfect storm.

Those of us in our 40s, 50s, and beyond have decades of experiences under our belts that form the basis of who we are and how we look at life. As a result, the older we get, the more we're set in our ways. We know what works for us and what doesn't.  In effect, and especially for a picky-ass person like me, the window of relationship opportunity is open just a crack.  It gets harder to find someone who has the winning combination of personal characteristics, professional accomplishments, logistics (such as availability and geographic location), and chemistry that we look for in a partner. 

So when I find someone I really dig and fall in love with, yes, I will leave no stone unturned to see if somehow we can make this work.  If you read my book you know I would have done anything to save my marriage to B.H.; I call it a love story for a reason.  And I can't tell you how many times I've hit the wall of frustration with Mike only to go back with him, believing there has to be some way to keep this together. 

I don't often get defensive, mostly because I don't give a crap what people think, but I find my friend's remarks insulting.  I continue to be amazed at what people, I'm gonna say married people, will say to us single folks.  I swear, someday my eyeballs will need to be surgically removed from my cerebellum. 

So single folks, tell me about the crazy shit you hear. And for those of you living in wedded bliss, here's the link to a post I wrote a while back on what you should never say to single people.  Please, I beg of you, read this! 

And for the record, Bastard Husband is a professor with a Ph.D. and Mike's a computer wiz and successful businessman who was able to retire at 38. That's the caliber of men I'm magnetized to.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A guest blogger with "good vibrations"

Every once in a while, we bloggers have something to say to the world but for one reason or another, we can't put it up on our own blog.  About a year and a half ago, I posted something about an ex-boss (company CEO) over on my BFF Julie's 47 and Starting Over blog because I didn't want people at work to see it on my blog.  Now since I no longer work there (and the company has since been flushed down the toilet), I don't give a shit (no pun intended) but it was a great outlet at the time.

Well, one of my dear blogging buddies needs to get a story off her chest, but not on her own blog.  When I heard what she wanted to write about, I jumped at the chance to offer her space here.  So here you go... a guest post by "Anonymous."
My curiosity has gotten the best of me and I finally gave in to a temptation that I’ve long harbored. I bought myself a (lower your reading voice to a whisper here) vibrator. Ever since watching the Rabbit episode of Sex in the City, I’ve wanted to replace my faux vibrator (it’s really a back massager) with the real thing – one that promises to fill in during the dry periods in my quarter-century-old marriage.

Why not? I am from the era when women learned to embrace our sexuality, actively participating in our own orgasmic satisfaction and proudly claiming the right to fulfill our needs.

Then why am I so ashamed of my recent purchase?

Let me tell you how it all unfolded. This is pretty funny and if I weren’t so worried my secret would embarrass the Hell out of me and spur the disdain of my family, I wouldn’t be writing this post anonymously and asking a fellow blogger to publish it on her site, keeping my identity, like my new vibrator, hidden in the closet.

Every time Glamour or More magazine had an article about “Sex Toys for Women” I would go online to shop for something to spice up the lovemaking that is sometimesroutine and boring. But, I could not bring myself to make a purchase. My husband is open to exploration, but he wouldn’t take me to one of the local Adult Store prevalent in our town. “What if someone saw my car parked outside?” he worried. “What if I bumped into to someone that knows me in the store?” I’ve broached the idea with a couple of girlfriends who said they are more than happy to accompany me to the Adult Superstore but the truth is, I just know I’d never be able to go through with it, much-less make a purchase in their presence.

So I deny the urge (pun intended) and feel frustrated.

Then Vibrant Nation, an online blogging community which I write for, was the catalyst I needed to stop worrying and buy a damn vibrator. I read one of many articles and one provided a link to, of all places, where there are several vibrators for women available.

This time I didn’t hesitate and sent the one I was familiar with, based on that Sex and the City episode, to the checkout. I bought it and sat back in my chair wiping the sweat from my brow. I waited for its arrival, confident that since I amthe only one who gets the mail at home, my husband, nor my visiting daughter, would ever know.

My package arrived from U.P.S. There was a knock on the door that my husband, normally gone for hours every day working or golfing, just happened to answer. As he handed me the package, I broke into another sweat; my nosy daughter was sure to ask me what I’d bought and I am no good at producing a quick lie. Thankfully, neither she nor my husband seemed interested. I casually headed to my bedroom and stuffed the contraband under my bed.

Later that day when all in the house were otherwise occupied, I took the box into the bathroom and opened it. Oh, my God. This was no back massager. This was a real, size-proportioned, pink penis with a protrusion at the base that did, in fact, resemble a rabbit. It was packaged in a Fort Knox sealed plastic that conformed perfectly. After getting the Rabbit out, I went about cutting the plastic up into little-bitty pieces so no one would know what came in it.

Next, I realized with horror that I would have to store the thing somewhere in my bedroom where no one would find it.

“Why not show your husband,” you might ask? After all, I did say he was open.

There was no way I was going to reveal this monstrosity to him; it was huge, it was a dildo, for God’s sake, and it was just too embarrassing for me to let on that I’d wanted, needed, and purchased it. (See attached picture)

So, into a bag it went, placed upon the top shelf of the closet where no one but me ever goes, and put my mind at ease.

That is, until that evening when all sorts of thoughts entered my head.

What if I die in a car accident tomorrow?

What will my family think of me when they go through my effects, readying them for Goodwill?

All I could think of is all of their loving memories of me would be erased by the discovery of my dirty, little (actually enormous) secret. So I devised a plan to hide it more securely.

I tried removing all the pages of my copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves, knowing no one in my family would crack it open and like one of those jailbreak movies, my “gun” would be safely hidden. I couldn’t cut the pages out, it was much too hard.

Maybe I could buy a lockbox, but wouldn’t that be a greater temptation to open? Thinking I’d been hoarding away stashes of money, I can just see imagine my family faceswhen they break the lock and instead of a monetary inheritance, they’d see a huge rubber dick and lose their lunch.

What to do? What to do?

Well, it’s still in the bag in my closet. I haven’t figured it out yet what I’m going to do with it. I’m not tossing it. No way. I paid thirty bucks for that thing and in this economy every penny counts. Besides – it works. Despite my overwhelming fear of discovery, I, of course, tried it out and I swear within 30seconds I had a great, heh hem... reaction. Yeah, that puppy (I mean bunny) isn’t going anywhere. There may be future dry spells in my marriage that I want to be ready for.

So the only thing I can do now is drive really, really carefully and watch out for the other guy.

Thanks, Linda Lou, for giving me the forum to share my story. Maybe someday I will come out of the closet brandishing my “pet” and not caring what the world, or my family, thinks!
Yeah... I thought you would like that.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Get out and stay out! (You might meet Kato Kaelin or Norm MacDonald)

Wow, last Friday night was really something.
First I attended a book release party for Andrew Kiraly's debut novel, Crit, at a bar in downtown Las Vegas.  As much as I love Vegas, I still can't warm up to downtown; there are simply not enough hallucinogens for me to find the lights of the Fremont Street Experience remotely entertaining.  Okay, I was dancing on the bar at Hogs and Heifers a couple of Sundays ago in the middle of the afternoon, but for the most part downtown doesn't do it for me.   

Anyway, we've had quite a monsoon season here lately and it started to downpour on my way and I was like, I should just go home and watch a movie.  Then I couldn't find the bar and I hate driving around downtown and I was starting to get in a piss-poor mood and then I found the bar but there was no place to park, and when I finally found a parking spot on the far end of the lot, I had to wait to see what was up with these two Mexican guys who seemed to be just hanging out, perhaps waiting to prey on a middle-aged granny in a short shirt and heels that would hardly allow her to run like hell even if Satan himself were trying to grab her purse and the $18 inside of it.

OK, so I get into the bar in one piece and I don't know a soul except the woman who invited me to the event--the president of Stephens Press, which is the book's publisher.  She's tied up selling books, though, so I walked around and usually I'm really good by myself in bars, but everyone seemed to know each other and I was starting to bum like I was in a new high school and wasn't worthy of talking to the cool kids.

Finally my friend Teresa Watts from the Henderson Writers Group showed up and she didn't know anybody, either, and even though we both had on really cute outfits, we sat over to the side like Square Pegs and Teresa told me how she lost all this weight by eating fish, fruit and vegetables and now she weighs 112 and I was like ready to freakin' cry because that morning I weighed exactly what I weighed the day I gave birth (139).  Both times.  But nonetheless, I was glad she and her skinny ass were there for me to talk to.

After a while we decided to leave.  I had been planning on stopping in at the Fryer's Club, the weekly gathering for local comics over at Big Al's Comedy Club in the Orleans, but that didn't start until 11:30 and it was only about 9:00 so I decided to head over to catch the comics at Tommy Rockers.  Of course, on the way I missed my freakin' exit because some asshole wouldn't let me over and I was like, I should just go home.  I didn't, though, and finally got there in time to catch the last two comics. 

At that point it was only 10:00 and I still had another hour and a half till the Fryer's.  I decided to head over to the Orleans and figured I'd catch some of the band in the Irish pub next to Big Al's.  It was an all-girl band with a guy playing with them and not to be sexist, but sometimes women should just shut up because I swear to God, they talked forever  between every single song and I was like, just get on with the freakin' music.  After a while I couldn't take it anymore and thought, I should just go home, but instead I played nickle video poker and then got pissed when I lost three dollars.  (You don't really hear me talking about gambling much, do you?)

Anyway, I decided to head over to the food court and even though by now it was 11:00 at night and I was sure to weigh 140.5 or so by then (28.5 pounds heavier than that skinny bitch friend of mine), I ordered three meatballs and sauce at Sbarro's, which, by the way, is my favorite cheapo place to eat, second only to the $1.50 hot dog special at Costco.

FINALLY it was time to head over to Big Al's and hang with my comic friends.  As you can imagine, I'm on the older end of the spectrum, but from day one, the young guys have always been so sweet to me and I love being part of that scene.  My buddy Joe Lowers was there and a bunch of other people and it was just so much fun.  While sitting at the bar, I saw Kato Kaelin, who's hosting a show at Big Al's, standing not too far from me.  Let me tell you something, he looks pretty damn good!  I didn't talk to him much, but he was really sweet.

Photo credit:  MHA Photography
I look weird in that picture.  WTF?  (Why the face?)

Then, who else was there but Norm MacDonald, who was performing in the showroom last weekend.  I got to talk with Norm quite a bit.  He asked me where I'm from, what I do, where I live... and when he told me he's from Canada, I gushed, "I LOVE Canadians!"  And then I went on about how so many of my favorite musicians are Canadian and I when I found out he's from Quebec City, I was like, "OMG, my all-time favorite musician is from Quebec!" and he was like, "Who's that?  Daniel Lanois?" and I was like, "YES!" and he was like, "Wow, not too many people know who he is" and then we talked about Daniel Lanois and other Canadian musicians and he asked for my card and said he'd comp me for his Saturday show. 

Is that cool or what?
Photo credit:  MHA Photography
What is the weirdness that is my face?  Huh?  Like seriously, in real life I do not have that Quagmire jaw.  Norm looks great--I kept telling him I couldn't believe how young he looks and I really meant it.  He has a real baby face.

So anyway, I ended up having a fantastic night and my point is, how many times did I almost go home?  You see?  The moral of this story is, you have to get out.  Nothing exciting is ever going to happen at home.  Yes, a cute UPS guy in shorts might show up at your door during the day (no wonder why QVC is so popular), but no one's gonna come knockin' at night. 

So get out, and stay out!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Bastard Husband rocks in the UK!

Check this out--Bastard Husband: A Love Story is in the Top 10 in three Kindle categories in the U.K. and is #2 in one category!

Thank you SO much!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

From "In a relationship" to "Single"

I’m sure you’ve seen this coming, especially if you’ve been reading between the lines--there's been no mention of beloved boyfriend Mike lately.  Long-term readers know it’s been a tumultuous ride from day one and the people in my inner circle have hardly been able to keep track of whether we're on or off.  Whenever I tell them we broke up, they roll their eyes and say, "Yeah, right" because inevitably we'd be on again, sooner or later.  This time, however, I think we've reached the end of the line.  I wouldn't be announcing it otherwise.

I can’t be airing my dirty laundry and certainly Black Ops wasn't the only problem, but was it weight on the scales? Absolutely.  We didn't split due to lack of love, that's for sure.  I've always said, Mike is awesome.

This is funny. I actually moved all my stuff out of Mike’s house and into Linda Land the first week of May, and in a huff. I was pissed as hell over something, dramatically yanking clothes from the closet and dumping my shit into suitcases, swearing my head off and I mean with those curse words you reserve for special occasions.

At that point my iPhone dinged, signaling I had an email.  With a pounding heart and my blood pressure a thousand over a million, I saw it was a Facebook message from a woman I’d never met, but who had read my book.  Every so often I hear from readers, mostly women, who write to tell me how much they admire me and how brave and together I am, and how they wish they could be more like me.  This was one of those messages.

HAHAHAHA!!!   The timing couldn't have been more perfect.

A couple of days later I got a similar message from another woman.  Again, it cracked me up.  I'm sleeping on a blow-up bed in a one bedroom apartment watching Netflix on my iPhone and I'm your hero???  Aim higher, sister!

Since then I did buy a TV, but I'm not sure I want to give up the air mattress.  It's one of those blow-up beds that's about a foot off the floor and actually, I don't mind it. Plus you know me--I'm a minimalist and I'm not sure I can commit to a big, bulky bed right now.  There are a lot of unknowns in my life.  My lease here is up next month and though fortunately my job has been extended to the end of September, it doesn't look like it will last beyond that point.  So who knows where life will lead?  It's an adventure.

Oh, who am I kidding?  I love Linda Land and I love Las Vegas.  No doubt I'll renew my lease for at least another six months and hope to find a training job or another telecommuting tech writing gig like I have now.  It'll all work out.

I should add that since I moved out in May, Mike and I have been on and off (mostly off).  We remain on good terms.  I'll spare you the typical "We wish each other the best" press release statement.  God knows we've broken up a million times before, but I do believe this time it's gonna stick.  I could be wrong, but in the meantime, I'm moving forward. 

Damn.  After two and a half years, I'm back to holding in my stomach.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Have you ever had a problem communicating?

This is the weirdest thing.  I fancy myself as a real people person who can talk to anyone.  I'm not like my sister Lori, who could tell her entire life story to a department store mannequin, but I'm a good talker and interact well.  That's pretty safe to say.  

Okay, so there's somebody I need to interact with occasionally and I'm not kidding, it is so freakin' awkward I can't wait for the exchange of communication to be over.  Like whatever I say just kind of lies suspended in the air as if I verbally farted and they're waiting for the stench to dissipate.  Forget making a joke of any kind--does not go over at all.  As the conversation continues I feel so increasingly uncomfortable that I start stammering and it gets harder to spit out my words and then I realize that I'm sounding like an idiot, which only componds the problem.  Then I start getting mad at myself because usually I don't give a shit what people think about me, but this one is just a hard nut to crack and I can't figure out how to deal with this person.

In the past I've known people who simply give you nothing back when you try to have a conversation with them.  If you ask them a question, they'll answer politely, but don't return the volley.  They don't ask you a question or comment any further, so you're stuck directing the conversation until someone else comes along and saves you.  This is not the same thing; this person will offer more, but there's always a slight pause first, as if what I'm saying is so unbelievably off base they don't know how to respond.

When I was working in the field of corporate outplacement, I led job search workshops to folks who had just been let go from their jobs--talk about a tough crowd!  But without fail, I was able to engage even the most angry and bitter participants.  I remember one man in particular who was so pissed off that he just sat in the back of the room with his arms folded over his chest and an I'm-gonna-kill-someone expression on his face.  At the end of our three days together, he hugged me.

The person I'm having trouble relating to is not someone I can avoid, is not an asshole and is actually nice.  I'm not losing sleep over this, but I just think it's so odd that I'm a freakin' Dale Carnegie with the rest of the world but can't form a cohesive sentence when this one is around. 

Have you ever had this problem communicating with someone?  How did you handle it?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Reader mail and more great advice from me

God knows I have an endless gush—think Old Faithful—of compelling information to share, but I’m always happy to weigh in on topics you’d like to address. An anonymous reader recently asked me to give my two cents on an experience she encountered in the dating world. To give you an age perspective, both she and the guy are in their late 40s. She found him extremely attractive and they enjoyed talking with each other, often about quite deep subjects. I’ll let her tell the rest.

When I kissed him after our first date I was instantly worried. He had that stick-your-tongue-in-the-other-person's-mouth-and-just-leave-it-there kissing style. I had a feeling that the sex would be bad, but tried to convince myself otherwise. Anyway, after some more dates I decided it was time. Well, guess what? I was sooo right! The sex was bad. I think “horrible” would be a better word. This is a man who has been married two times and has been in other relationships. So, I was wondering if you could blog about how a guy could be so clueless about what makes good sex.
Wow, how can a guy be so clueless about good sex?

A couple of thoughts immediately come to mind. The first is that what constitutes “good” sex is entirely subjective. An M.O. that causes one person to spasm with joy could totally turn off another. That’s where the term sexual compatibility comes in; you both have to be on the same page when it comes to what makes a delightful romp in the sack.

I’m totally with you in thinking the first kiss was a major warning signal. I have to wonder who on God’s green earth would think that jamming one’s tongue down someone’s throat could be considered remotely amorous. I think it’s a good rule of thumb that if the kissing sucks, you can pretty much give up hope for any satisfaction between the sheets.

That said, if you really like this guy, you may not want to jump ship. Tell him in a loving way what works for you and ask how you can meet his needs as well. Men are not mind readers and are generally appreciative when we take part in steering the course.

There’s nothing more discomforting than bad sex, that’s for sure. But there’s always the possibility that the second round may be entirely different. Personally, I’ve had not one, but two initial encounters that nearly made me weep. In both cases, the next time proved to be an entirely different story and ultimately they were very satisfying relationships. Another good rule is to always allow for first-time jitters.

Considering the quality of the first kiss though, I’m gonna give your guy slightly lower odds for next time. But again, open communication may result in an entirely different experience. Maybe his previous lovers were unskilled or indifferent and that’s all he knows. If other important aspects of a relationship are in place—the ability to converse if key!—then why not be a little patient and see how this unfolds?

Okay, readers. What do you say?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Performing Sunday night at Big Al's Comedy Club

Everyone will probably be away this weekend, so I'll make this short.  I'm actually staying in town and will be doing a set at the open mic at Big Al's Comedy Club in the Orleans on Sunday night.  Show starts at 9:00.  This is a fantastic room, so if you're in Las Vegas, be sure to stop by. 

I was at Big Al's late last night for  The Fryer's Club, which is a weekly private gathering for local comics to sit around, eat, drink, and shoot the shit.   I absolutely love my comic friends.  Everyone is so down to earth and very supportive of each other.   That's my impression, anyway.  If you read my book, you know that I came to Las Vegas eight years ago depressed and miserable.  I was totally by myself and didn't know a soul.  The people in my divorce support group and the comics I met at Boomers, the stage where I first performed, were my first friends.  I adore them.
(My arms are not that fat in real life)
I just did a set at Big Al's last Sunday and wasn't planning on returning this week, but last night our bartender (who also works Sunday nights) told me, quite enthusiastically, how much he loves my stuff and that he hopes I'll be there again this week.  I'm always intruiged when I get such positive feedback from young guys in their 20s; I imagine my humor would be too old and middle-agey for them, but I guess it's not.  Then when I was leaving, Jason (of course his name is Jason, right?) called to me from behind the bar and said, "Linda, is there any beer you'd rather drink besides Newcastle?  I can get you something else from another bar, like Guinness or Sam Adams."

My favorite bartender, Jason
Oh, how sweet--he remembered I'm a beer snob.  So now I have to do a set on Sunday--how can I not? Maybe I'll write some new stuff, just so I'm not doing the same crap.

So that's it for today.  Have a great weekend and enjoy the holiday!