Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NOT the post you've been waiting for

First, thank you all for your best wishes both here and on Facebook.  Mike and I truly appreciate your kind words.

I can't wait to share the details of our surprise wedding Saturday night.  It was so much freakin' fun!  The thing is, I was so busy that night being the hostess and getting married and all, I didn't have time to take pictures. 

In fact, the only picture I have of that night is this one.  Mike had the brilliant idea of setting up a projector and I was like, "Wouldn't it be cool to show Pee Wee's Big Adventure during our party?"  (With the sound muted, of course.)  So while waiting for our guests to arrive, I took this photo.

That is pretty cool, but I know that's not even close to the photos you want to see.  But have no fear--my family took pictures of the festivities, I just don't have them yet.  We've been having too much fun!

The loony family Mike married into -- pray for him!
Trust me, I'm planning on writing an epic wedding post, but realistically I don't think I'll get to it until Saturday.  I know--can you believe I'm making you wait that long?  So mean.

In the meantime, just know that I'm having a freakin' blast.  Again, thank you all!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy, happy, happy and thankful

Hey, everyone!

Hope you're enjoying your Thanksgiving.  Our house is Party Central these days and so I'm going to take a little bloggy break today.  I hope to be able to post on Saturday, but if I don't, you'll know I'm having a swingin' time and don't want to break the momentum.

I love you all.  XOXO

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Funny pics my friends have posted on Facebook.

I've come across a few pictures on Facebook that I just have to share. The best part about these is, they're all pics that my friends or friends of friends have actually taken.

This one is courtesy of my comedy friend Bobby Masi, and was taken near Wappingers Falls, NY.  He calls it "The Circle of Life."  Click on it to see the full effect.

You know how you have some Facebook friends who you don't really know in real life?   This woman is a friend of my brother's who became my friend, too.  In these times of war, economic depression and world famine, I have to wonder, can her life get any worse?

My friend Cassy posted this one, taken from a road somewhere in Idaho. 

Life is flying by, no?  Have a great day and love every minute!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Demi and Ashton -- Too much of an age difference?

You know I love my celebrities.  This week I'm feeling for my gal Demi. 
"It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I have decided to end my six-year marriage to Ashton.  As a woman, a mother and a wife there are certain values and vows that I hold sacred, and it is in this spirit that I have chosen to move forward with my life. This is a trying time for me and my family, and so I would ask for the same compassion and privacy that you would give to anyone going through a similar situation."

We don't have to read too far between the lines, do we?  I know... none of us knows what really went on between them, but I have to believe there's some truth to all the tabloid reports of his indiscretions.  And I also have to wonder how much the more than 15-year age difference played a part in their decision to split.

I've written about age differences before--check these posts.   A few years ago, I met a 55-year-old man whose wife was 70.  I have to admit when he told me that, I stopped in my tracks.  I know I shouldn't generalize, but if you think of any mature 25-year-old guy with a 40-year-old woman, the age difference doesn't seem insurmountable.  But I think the older they get, the more the difference makes a... difference. 

I've come to realize I really like being with someone my own age.  Personally, I can't imagine going for someone 15 years older--he'd be 69!  I can't seriously imagine 15 years younger, either--I'd make an exception for Prince Harry, of course--though I could see myself with a 39-year-old a lot easier than a 69-year-old.

What do you think?

How significant is an age difference when it comes to relationships? 

How much older or younger could YOU go?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Accidentally trendy

Has anyone noticed that my "I'm an a-hole" label (right column) has 42 associated posts?  And there are probably just as many posts that I simply forgot to tag.  There's just no denying it; I'm an a-hole.  Here's more evidence.

So look at me all trendy-like with the skinny jeans ripped at the knee.  I must have paid a fortune to achieve this incredibly hip look, right?

Um, no.  I got these jeans at Target for about $15.99.  And the knee peeking through is the result of a fabulous fall I took a couple of weeks ago.  It wasn't nearly as dramatic as when I fell and got a rug burn at work (Reason #427 why I make an awesome co-worker), but it was impressive nonetheless.

I was leaving the Las Vegas Valley Book Festival, which was held at the historic Fifth Street School in downtown Las Vegas.  I walked off a curb I totally didn't see (it wasn't next to a street or anything) and took a good tumble--my chin even grazed the sidewalk.  I scraped my knee--big deal.  A security guard rushed over and said, "Ma'am!  Are you all right?" and I was like, "Yeah, I just wish I had more of an audience.  Did anyone else happen to catch that?" 

You and I both know it can be hilarious when somebody falls (and they're not seriously hurt).  I was laughing and was hoping the security guard could get some joy out of my fall, but he was all serious and attentive.  Just doing his job, I suppose.  The best part is, if you know me, you know I walk around all smiley and confident--head high, shoulders back and down--like I own the freakin' world.  It had to be funny as hell to see me land on the sidewalk in a heap. 

I'm going to be a blast when I get old, don't you think?  I'd better stock up on those "I've fallen and I can't get up!" necklaces now.

P.S.  A few of you have been asking me about Hurricane Mikey.  I passed the word on to him and he posted a little something yesterday.  All is well!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I sleep around... and with strangers

I spent a good portion of Sunday afternoon cleaning out my closet. You may wonder what I could possibly have left after the famous Purgefest 2010, but I still found enough crap for one bag of trash and another for Goodwill. Aaah... it feels great to get rid of stuff.

In one box I found a pair of antique brass candlesticks I'd all but forgotten about. There's a story behind them.

Back in 2001 I was working as a contract trainer for Fleet Bank. To this day, that was the best job I ever had. I not only loved training, but I worked only 15 days a month and had the remaining week off.  And I was paid $425/day. I haven't been able to find a job like that since.

Anyway, I was conducting a training session down on Long Island.  I woke up that Friday morning--the last day of the training--with a wicked head cold. You know how some days you're not even out of bed and you're already counting the minutes until you can get back under the covers? Ugh. It was going to be a long friggin' day and on top of it, that evening I had to fly back to Buffalo, where I was living with B.H.

I somehow got through the training, sniffing away the whole goddamn day. I was so happy when I finally dropped off my rental car at MacArthur Airport--soon I'd be on a plane and would at least be able to close my eyes for a while.

But no. When I checked in I was told my flight to Buffalo was canceled and I'd have to take a shuttle to LaGuardia Airport, where I'd be able to catch another flight. I couldn't believe it; I was ready to cry.

The "shuttle" turned out to be a taxicab, which I shared with two other women who were traveling separately to Buffalo. They were maybe 10 years older than me. Both of them were nice enough and I forced some small talk, but I was feeling absolutely miserable. Plus I felt terribly guilty that they had to ride with grumpy old me and my disgusting runny nose and Kleenexes full of germs.

We checked in together at LaGuardia and went our separate ways as we finally boarded the plane. Hallelujah, I'll be home soon, I thought as I settled into my window seat.  But about forty-five minutes outside of Buffalo, the pilot announced that we were unable to land because of fog we'd be turning around and heading back to LaGuardia.  We'd have to spend the night there and we'd all be booked on flights departing in the morning.

OMFingG, I had all I could do to not burst into tears.  From the moment I woke up, I couldn't wait for that day to end and now it was getting even longer.

I met up with my two lady friends at the U.S. Airways ticket counter back at LaGuardia.  We were all reassigned to flights departing in the morning; they opted for the first flight out, but I wanted a later flight so I could sleep in a bit.  We were also informed that the airline would not be putting us up for the night; we were on our own when it came to that.

A look of despair came over both of the ladies' faces.  Who could have predicted they'd be stuck in a big New York City airport?  "What do we do now?" one of them asked.

"I have an expense account for work," I said. "You can stay with me."

And so we hopped on a shuttle to the nearest Marriott, where I got us a room with two queens and a roll out bed.  At eleven o'clock at night, they treated me to a snack in the restaurant (miraculously, I was starting to feel a little less stuffy) and then the three of us, three women who were strangers just a few hours before, headed up to the room for our little pajama party.

I slept soundly and barely managed to raise my head to say good-bye when they tiptoed out of the room early the next morning.  I woke up feeling much better for my eleven o'clock flight back to Buffalo.  It was uneventful, thank God, except for the fact that Hillary Clinton was sitting in first class.

A few weeks later I received a package in the mail.  One of the women sent me a lovely note and two brass candlesticks from her antique shop.  I displayed them for years and then somewhere along the line packed them into a box.  When I came across them on Sunday, I had to smile.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Quick update

Oh, dammit. I didn't get this post in when it was still Saturday. It's just after midnight as I'm writing this.

Today I was part of an authors' event at the Sahara West Library here in Las Vegas. I read a few passages from my book and talked about my experience writing a memoir. I absolutely love doing library presentations! I went through a period several years ago when I was vice president of the Henderson Writers' Group where I seemed to do those library events every time I turned around. Unfortunately, that was before my book was published; I could have sold a lot more books had it been ready by then. Since then there seems to have been a lot of cutbacks; many libraries are no longer open at night.

Forgive me for saying this again, but I am really proud of my book. People laughed out loud as I read from it today, and for some reason those laughs mean so much more to me than the laughs I get from my comedy. They seem much more authentic, I think because the material is my book is more authentic. Though there's a lot of reality in my comedy, to be sure.

I don't have any comedy dates scheduled right now. No doubt I'll do an open mic soon, but I don't want to schedule anything until I get a little more set with my work and associated travel obligations. Already I've had a change in travel plans; I was supposed to go to Santa Fe next Friday and come back on Monday, but that trip is now canceled. Of course, I already booked my flight. Using my own credit card. (No corporate cards.)

I hope this job works out. That's all I'll say right now. The universe unfolds in divine order, I keep reminding myself.

At any rate, the other aspects of life are spectacular. I'm in love, have new Sponge Bob pajamas, and I have A LOT to look forward to in the next few weeks. Like the people in AA, I'm taking one day at a time.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Guest blogger for Veteran's Day --GREAT post!

Today I proudly present my sister Lori Biker as a guest blogger.  Here is her account of her recent visit to the World War II memorial in Washington, DC, with two very special people. 

October 22nd was a very special day as Patriot Flight Inc. was taking another trip to Washington DC.  Patriot Flight Inc. organizes trips for WWII vets to fly to Washington DC and visit the WWII Memorial, all expenses paid!   

On this day, I was fortunate to be a guardian/escort for the vets.  I was assigned to two 86-year-old men, Bob and Ed, who have been friends for 65 years.  They were a pleasure from the second I met them.  We boarded a bus in a nearby parking lot and left for the Albany Airport. 

An estimated 150 motorcycles and 6 fire companies provided the escort, while numerous police vehicles were traffic blockers for our nonstop ride. They received a hero's welcome at the airport.  Bikers, firefighters in dress uniforms,color guard and many others lined their walkway as The Yankee Doodle Band played.  The airport never looked so wonderful. 

On the plane we went!  Aren't they cute!  I had a ball!  Ed wouldn't let me sit between them; he told Bob he wanted me all to himself.  

We talked all day. They told me stories about their lives, and how they still visit regularly. Bob says Ed comes to the house to visit his wife, not him!  Ed's wife passed a few years ago. He says he is comforted that she is in heaven and looks forward to being with her again. In the meantime, he flirts with every girl he can!  They didn't talk much about wartime, but it was understood that they served their country to the best of their ability and were very proud of it.  Today they felt like they won the Congressional Medal of Honor!  

They were given red carpet treatment every step of the way.  The Southwest Airline crews announced them on the flights and cheered them along.  In Baltimore, they were greeted by hundreds of Naval cadets, saluting them, talking with them, thanking them.  We ate at the Golden Corral, again being recognized and honored.  Even our return to Albany at 10:00 p.m., there were color guards and a bagpiper welcoming them home.

In Washington, we saw the WWII, WWI, U.S. Navy, Korean War, Vietnam, Marine Corp Iwo Jima and Air Force memorials.  Clearly, the WWII Memorial was the highlight of their day.  It is the most beautiful memorial and it was to honor them.

People greeted them and thanked them for their service.  Children shook their hands and thanked them for their freedom.  Tears wet my face many times on this day!  Before we left the WWII Memorial, we all stood together and sang "God Bless America."  To me, this was the most touching moment of the day.  Listening to these old and somewhat fragile voices belting out this tune with pride, watching their faces and the faces of all the tourists who stopped to join in was just amazing.  I was so honored to be there with these great people. 

So, today I thank Bob and Ed for the service they gave to our country, I thank them for my freedom and I thank them for a day that truly changed my life

Thank you, Lori!  And thank you to all the veterans who have served our country.  For another beautiful post and poem from my blogging buddy, Colleen Davignon, click here.  And if you're new to my blog, please take a moment to read my post from Veteran's Day 2008 about my favorite Vietnam vet.

Happy Veteran's Day, everyone!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Everything's a joke...

Wow.  Working again is kicking my ass.  I'm exhausted!  You know how it is when you start a new job--it takes a lot out of you.  I don't know whether I'm so tired from having to learn so much new stuff or from putting on my Mrs. Nice Girl front, smiling and nodding in all the right places and making pretend I'm an easygoing team player when in reality, well... you know.

All I can say is thank God tomorrow's a holiday and then I have five days of work and then the week after will be a short one because of Thanksgiving.  Yup, I'm back to living from one day off to the next.  What a worker this one is...

So last Sunday morning Mike and I went to IHOP for breakfast (because I'm friggin' worth it).  I was the only one who ordered coffee and our waitress--let's call her "Juanita"--set down this bowl of creamers in front of me.

"Oh, that's not going to be nearly enough," I told her, because yes, everything is a joke to me.

She returned a minute later with this.

I'm not exactly sure whether or not she knew I was kidding, but either way, that made my day.

Speaking of everything's a friggin' joke to me, I bought these Sponge Bob pajamas in Ross the other night when I was supposed to be shopping for work clothes.  I know--as if I'm not sexy enough!

I like to keep Mike's kids wondering about me, like what kind of a whack job got involved with their father, anyway?  The 6-year-old loved them.
Her:  "I have Sponge Bob pajamas, too, Linda."
Me:  "They're pretty cool, huh?"
Her:  "Yeah, and someday I'll have two Sponge Bob pajamas."
Me:  "You will?"
Her:  "Yeah, you know.  I can have yours when you're duh-duh-duh..."
Me:  "DEAD???"
Her:  "Yeah."

Hope you have tomorrow off, too!  Don't forget to hug a vet!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Quick post -- new job is cool

I have to make this quick today.  First of all, thanks for all the comments on my last post.  I don't always get a chance to acknowledge them, but I really do appreciate every comment you leave.  Yeah, I know about the new Modern Warfare III release, but fortunately those games seem to be a thing of the past in this house.  THANK GOD!  I know the boys will get it, though, and no doubt there'll be a resurgence of violence in our living room, but at least in this house, I have a place to escape from it.

Well, I started my new job yesterday.  You know me, I'd much rather be home, but I think this gig will be cool.  I have a fantastic boss, which as you know, can make or break a job.  He lives in England, but is here in the States a lot, so I will be working with him quite a bit. 

I'm gonna make a generalization, but those Brits have a good sense of humor, which I appreciate.  Of course on my first day I had to ask him if he likes Ricky Gervais.  Fortunately, he said yes or I'm afraid I'd have to quit; I couldn't possibly work for someone who doesn't like Ricky.

The boss is a lot of fun and no matter what he says sounds a hundred times better because of his accent.  That was one thing I really missed when B.H. and I split up--I could have listened to him for hours.  Jeez, I am shallow.

Anyway, it looks like my first trip will be to Orlando in December.  But before then, I have TONS of stuff going on.  There are simply not enough hours in the day.

Sorry this is such a boring post.  To make it up to you, I shall leave you with some words from Betty White.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Early Christmas present and a new haircut, too

Choosing your partner's Christmas present can be a real pain.  You want to buy something they're really going to like, but most of the time that's easier said than done.  Well, I made it easy for Mike this year.

Yesterday we were in Lowe's.  Again.  Mike's been going nuts lately buying a new houseplant every time I turn around, so while he looked for his next purchase in the garden section, I decided to roam around a bit. Two minutes later, I returned to him, so excited I could jump out of my skin.

"Mike!  Mike!  I never ask for anything.  Please buy me this!  Buy me this for Christmas. Pleeeeease!"

He looked at me like I was insane.  "What?  What?"

At that moment, I screamed.  Mike threw a protective arm around me.  "WHAT?"

"There's a bird in the store!"  I regained my composure.  "That's not what I want for Christmas." 

"You found something you want for Christmas in Lowe's?"

I took his hand.  "I'll show you.  Close your eyes.  You won't believe this.  I'm so excited!"  I led him through the store.  "Don't peek.  DON'T PEEK!"  

We stopped in front of the Christmas section.  Christmas?!  Me?!  I can't freakin' stand Christmas.  All I've done for the past 20 years is bitch about Christmas and how much I can't stand it.  And now I want something for Christmas that's in the Christmas section?  Yes, that is correct.

"Okay, open your eyes."

Mike opened his eyes and was like, "What the...?" 

"I want this.  For Christmas.  You'll be totally off the hook.  You won't have to buy me anything else.  If you don't get this for me, I'll buy it myself.  I love this!  I can't live without it!"

Even though he was all like, "Wow, Linda.  Really?  This is what you want for Christmas?" he did, in fact, buy it for me.  I was so freakin' happy!!!  I was already having a great day--I got a cool, funky (and long overdue) haircut from my fellow comedian friend, Lynn Yafchak, and was feeling like a new woman.  And now, to find this awesome Christmas present...

Of course, Mike got it for me (I love him!!!) and put it together as soon as we got home.  Are you ready?



It's an alternative Christmas tree!  And the best part is, I can put hearts all over it in February and shamrocks in March.  I can even put it outside if I want.  That's right, I can enjoy my Christmas tree all year 'round!

I freakin' love that thing.  And Mike--best. boyfriend. ever.  I'm a lucky, lucky girl.

You can't tell from this picture, but this haircut is SASSY!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Loving every minute

I start my new job on Monday.  In a few days, the structure of my life is going to change dramatically.  I'll be getting up at 6:15, showering, picking out a cute outfit or whatever makes me look the thinnest, packing a lunch, and cruising down the freeway along with the other commuters, hoping to be situated at my desk across town by 8:00.

That means no more staying up until 2 a.m writing blog posts or catching up on blog reading or Facebook while Mike works on his software application just a few feet away from me.  Mike's kids, on the days we have them, will probably still be in bed when I leave in the morning, so there'll be no more sitting at the kitchen table together while they eat their cereal and tell me their plans for the day ahead.

Most of the time, though, I won't be home at all.  I'll be flying to destinations not yet identified, securing a rental car, checking into my room at the resort, unpacking my bags (and hoping I remembered everything I'll need), and then preparing for the week of work ahead of me.

It's sure going to be different.

I've had five glorious weeks off since my last gig ended and I have savored every. single. minute.  Because Mike works at home and makes his own schedule, we've been able to enjoy copious quality time together.   I love being with this man, no matter what we do.  I love walking through our beautiful neighborhood together or scouring the stores for post-Halloween discounts on decorations for next year; I even love rummaging through the boxes of his crap we've yet to unpack from the garage.  Whatever we do together, we have fun and find something to laugh about.

Yesterday was an exceptionally great day.  In the morning I returned phone calls, caught up on email and sorted through paper work while Mike pulled weeds out front and cleaned up the pool.  I know that doesn't exactly sound exceptional, but it was good to get stuff done.  Plus I had a fun conversation with my first ex, the father of my children.  I don't talk to him often, but I do enjoy catching up with him now and then.

Later in the afternoon, Mike and I decided to go upstairs and take a little siesta.  Between dozing off now and then, we lay in bed talking and laughing and enjoying each others skin and admiring the blue sky and the palm trees out our windows.  We marveled at how lucky we are to be able to laze around like that in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon.

At around 4:00 we came downstairs to the kitchen.  Scanning through Facebook on my iPhone, I came across Mona Simpson's poignant eulogy for her brother, Steve Jobs.  After reading the first couple of paragraphs to myself, I realized this was something Mike would be interested in so I read it aloud, from the beginning.  About halfway through I got choked up and could no longer continue.  Mike took my phone and read the rest to me, his voice remaining steady even at the end as he read Jobs' final words:  "Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow."

"I can't talk about this right now," Mike said as he returned my phone.  Neither could I.  He retreated to our office and I went back upstairs to shower and get ready for our 6:00 dinner engagement.

Back in September I met a neat 80-year-old guy at Starbucks who'd taken a liking to me.  I saw Al again last week and invited him to come to see my set at the Las Vegas Comedy Show last Saturday night.  Al took me up on my offer and I had passes waiting for him and his wife, Pat, and another couple, Jeanette and Dick, at the box office.  Afterward Mike and I chatted with the four of them a bit before heading home.  On Monday, Al called to invite us to join them for dinner at the steakhouse in the South Point, where they're able to get comps.  Sweet of him.

On our way over, Mike and I were able to share our thoughts about Mona Simpson's words without tearing up.  I hope you take time to read it; it's a powerful piece, an eloquent expression of how precious and fragile life is.

Dinner was lovely.  The food was delicious and the company was even better. Al and Pat have been married 55 years; I think Jeanette and Dick are at number 48.  They're all fun as hell and aren't above drinkin' and swearin'--two of my favorite pastimes.  The four of them have lived together in another part of our development for the past 11 years, and not because of economic reasons.  Pat and Dick are first cousins and have been close all their lives.  It's clear they all truly love being together and they're having a ball.  At one point Jeanette turned to me and said, "I don't know what we'll do when one of us goes."

It was 10:00 by the time we left the restaurant.  Driving home, Mike and I reflected on our amazing day.  Nothing extraordinary happened; Beverly D'Angelo didn't pop by and we didn't win the Powerball or anything.  But we both felt such a sense of appreciation for being able to putter around in the morning, lie in each others arms all afternoon, share a beautiful eulogy, and then enjoy the company of four special people whom we'd never have the pleasure to know had I not smiled at an old man in the coffee shop.

Everything changes on Monday.  Mike and I won't have the kind of time together like we've had for the past five weeks.  I won't see his kids as much.  The new structure will bring new opportunities; I'll make friends at work and will meet all sorts of characters in my travels. Still, I hate to see this time end. 

It has to, though. Nothing can last forever; otherwise, we wouldn't appreciate it.  Whether it's Christmas Day, time off between jobs, or life itself... eventually it will end.  And that's why it's so important to love every minute.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

People aren't blogging like they used to, but I still will

I've noticed that some of my blogging buddies aren't posting like they used to.  Hurricane Mikey hasn't posted anything in almost a month and my dear friend over at I Hate to Weight has gone longer than that.  My BFF Julie of 47 and Starting Over fame is another one who's posting only occasionally now.

Believe me, I'm not making any judgments.  Blogging is a ton of work and is extremely time consuming, especially if you're trying to create thoughtful, meaningful posts.  I don't blame anyone for backing away from it.  I've said before that it's more important to live life than to write about it.

Like November leaves in the Adirondacks, blogging seems to be past peak.  Not only do people not have time to blog, but who has time to read this shit?  Everyone is busy as hell these days.  I get that.

I'm still going to blog.  I start my new job next week and I know I'm going to tight as hell time-wise, especially in the beginning as I'm learning the ropes, but I am going to do everything in my power to maintain the Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday posting schedule I've had since I started this blog in July 2008.  

My blog is important to me; it's a 3+ year creation.  It's a documentation of my life.  Back when I taught writing classes, I used to always tell my students "the faintest ink is better than the sharpest memory."  There are so many details about my life I would have forgotten had I not posted in this blog, so I'm not going to stop. 

I blog primarily for myself.  If I had not a single reader, I would still blog.  Writers write, and blogging provides a structure for me to write on a consistent basis.   But of course, my readers are important to me; you provide me with a sense of accountability.  So I want to ask a few questions.

What would you like to see more of in this blog?  Are there any particular topics you'd like me to weigh in on?

Has your blog reading increased or decreased over time?

How many blogs do you follow religiously?  What are some cool blogs I should know about?

Thank you, and as always, I truly appreciate your stopping by here.