Saturday, March 31, 2012

Well, I'm glad someone can find peace among the pigeon shit

Imagine owning a big, beautiful house in one of the Las Vegas area's most exclusive neighborhoods.  I'm talking about 5,000 square feet, probably more, with a beautiful pool and hot tub.  And the neighborhood is not just gated, its guard gated.  You've saved and sacrificed, and now finally own dream home. 

But oh-oh... one of your neighbors has pets.  Lots of them.  Like more than 100 of them.  And they're birds.  But not just any birds; they're pigeons.  Oh, and let's make the neighbor a convicted rapist.  Yep, he's right there on the Nevada sex offender registry

Does that sound like a freakin' nightmare or what?  

Check our this recent article in the Las Vegas Weekly.  It begins like this:
Mike Tyson is eager to show off his birds. Pigeons, specifically, more than 100 of them. They chirp away happily in the backyard of Tyson’s Seven Hills gated community home.

Tyson’s pets are perched in tall, wooden crates whose chicken-wire doors swing open to freedom. He unhitches one of those wired portals and says, “Check this out.” Nothing. The birds ignore the act, content to playfully peck away at their food, themselves or each other. Tyson moves to the back of the cage, opens his hand and slaps hard at the surface. The birds stream out, up and away. Tyson gazes skyward.

“Look at how they roll!” he says as the birds align in a flurry. They circle the sky high above the property, tumbling and flapping as if eager to fly away, forever. You wonder if these birds will ever come home.

“They always do,” Tyson says, squinting as the birds perform their aerial artistry. “When they’re finished, they’ll come back. They’ll be fine.” And Mike Tyson, once the most feared man on the planet, smiles as if transfixed, watching this winged air show. He has long sought peace, and for the moment, he is there.
Oh, good God.  Where do we start? 

That's 100 pigeons worth of pigeon shit, people.  Explain to me how some of that doesn't end up in neighbors' pools.   Can you imagine those poor people?  They must be like, "FML."

Photo by Steve Marcus
Tyson's all over the media here, promoting his upcoming one-man show.  You already know how I feel about that.  And that was before I found about about the birds.  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"We have all been here before, we have all been here before..."

Thank you for all your kind comments on Tuesday's post!  To my beloved reader Cassie, who wondered whether Hazel ever smiles, I give you this:

It's funny.  I too, had secretly wondered about this kid.   I'd look at the pictures of this beautiful, but very stoic looking toddler on Courtney's Facebook page and think, what the hell does she have to worry about?  April 15 is rapidly approaching and I'm the one who still hasn't collected all my tax shit.

I get to see Hazel only every couple of months, and usually there are so many other people around that she withdraws a bit.  Last week, though, I was really able to get to know her.  I was kind of relieved to see that she actually does smile and even giggles when you play little baby games with her.  She is pure joy.

That said, Hazel is still the most serious baby ever.  My own kids, as well as my grandson, Connor, were the type of babies that took in the world wide-eyed and marveled at everything like it was their first day on earth.  Look, a ball!  Look, a light switch that goes on-off, on-off!  Everything amazed them.

Hazie is different.  Sometimes she sits back with almost an air of disinterest.  I get the feeling this is not her first time on this planet; I think she's an old soul who's been here, done that many times before and can't believe she's back for another go-around.  Don't get me wrong; Hazel has a sweet disposition and you really can engage her.  It's just that nothing seems new to her.

It's going to be interesting watching her grow.  I wonder, have you ever encountered a baby like Hazel?  What kind of child/person did that baby grow up to be?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Back to reality... once again

Man, I have been having a lot of fun lately!  (As you can probably tell by my nonexistent Saturday post.)  Courtney and Hazel flew back to Albany yesterday afternoon, and now I must once again face reality.  Deep breath...

You KNOW we had an incredible time.  I have to admit that since my last post on Thursday, yes, we did hit a couple more Ross stores--it's been a week of power shopping!  But it hasn't been all about bargain hunting and watching season 1 of Kath & Kim.  Thursday we took a drive up to Valley of Fire.  It's only about 45 minutes north of Las Vegas, and totally worth the trip.  If you visit, I highly recommend you check it out.

Here's a picture of Hazel in the car on the way.  How much do you love that red hair?

That night, Courtney did an open mic at Money Plays, which looks like it's becoming quite a scene. It's on Flamingo, west of The Palms, and I hear they have an incredible selection of beer.  Their recording equipment is pretty impressive and they have a professional photographer taking complementary photos.  I also like the fact that they strongly discourage cover songs.  I stayed home with Hazel so Mike could enjoy the show, and he said she was fantastic.  You can hear Courtney's songs here.

Getting some help with the equipment before her set
We had an early birthday celebration for Mike while Court was here.  She made him dinner and painted this cool pot.

No mystery where she gets her artistic talent--remember the lion I painted in my yard?  Just for the record, Mike's birthday isn't until Friday, so he's still 53 and he won't be 54 until Friday, did you get that?  He is definitely still 53.  Six months younger than me.  Which he won't let me forget.

On Day 7 of her visit, Courtney finally made it to the Strip.  It's true--locals rarely go to the Strip, and Courtney isn't into all that, but she does love the lounge at The Peppermill, so we sat around the flaming hot tub with some friends on Sunday night.  If you've never been there, you HAVE to go next time you're in Vegas.  It's a unique place--the front of the building is kind of like a Denny's, and then there's the lounge in the back.  My iPhone takes shitty pictures in the lighting there; I took this one off the Internet.

The video displays you see play a good blend of music, and a lot of classic rock.  I like this place because it's the only lounge I know of that's not pulsating with that goddamn house music or whatever the eff it is, excuse me for sounding old.

Courtney at breakfast -- her last day in Vegas
 So now it's back to reality.  After Courtney and Hazey left, I headed over to the dance studio and took in back-to-back Dance Fusion and Showgirl 101 classes, which means I'll barely be able to walk later today.  OMG, after three weeks of having fun with family--including my time in Albany--I can tell I have a little catching up to do in the fitness and low carb departments.  That's okay, I know how to approach this.  Tonight I'll be working off some of that mother-daughter partying at my ballet class.

Speaking of... it's never too early.

Hey, thanks to all for reading these posts lately; they can't possibly be interesting to anyone except my mother.  My blog is a slice of life--my life--and I'm thrilled to share it with you.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The fun continues!

OMG, I am having SO much fun having Courtney and Hazel here!  Yesterday we paid a visit to my stylist/magician and fellow comic Lynn Yafchak, who trimmed and highlighted Courtney's hair and gave me a trim as well, which I didn't think I needed until she started poking at my head and telling me how flat my hair is getting.  I love Lynn--sometimes before I go on stage, she'll be like, "Get over here!" and then start fluffing up my hair like she's my Nana, except for thank God she doesn't spit on her fingers first.

Afterwards we met Mike for lunch at I Love Burgers in Town Square, where we collectively ingested about 4 million calories and 70,000 grams of carbs.  Not good for the waistline, but the salmon burger and coffee milk shake I had was delicious and held me over for the rest of the day and night, unless you count the five Girl Scout thin mints and three Sam Adams Alpine Spring ales I had for what I guess you could call dinner.  

Before then, though, Court and I played a game of Scrabble (because that's what people do when they visit Las Vegas), and we cracked ourselves up with my first word:  lezbo.  Then we hit another Ross, where I bought her a super cute sundress that I tried on when we got home and now we're going to have to go back for another one for me. 

Then last night was Day 2 of our Kath & Kim marathon.  Longtime readers know I have been nutty over Kath & Kim for years--it is so deliciously white trash, and I mean that in the nicest way possible.  Courtney had never seen it, and I had been dreaming of the day when the two of us could watch it together.  A while ago, I ordered the first season DVD, and finally Tuesday night we popped open a couple of beers, had Mike set up the PlayStation because I still don't know how to operate that goddamn thing, and settled in on the sectional couch in our master suite.

I was so hoping that Court would enjoy it as much as I did, and within a minute she was laughing her head off.  Tuesday night we watched three episodes and then last night on the way home from Ross, I asked her what she wanted to do and she said, "Well, why don't we pick up some beer and watch some more Kath & Kim?"  I couldn't have been happier.  Because that's what people do--watch TV--when they come to Las Vegas.

Tonight Courtney's going to do a couple of songs at an open mic (music, not comedy) at 9:00 at Money Plays on West Flamingo, a few blocks west of The Palms.  I've never been there, but it looks pretty cool.  They specifically look for original material; cover songs are discouraged.  If you're not doing anything tonight, stop in and see her.  Court will be there with Mike; I offered to stay home with Hazel.

Fun, fun, fun!  I am loving every minute.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Back home at the love palace

After a fantastic 12 days in Albany, I'm back home.  Aaaaahhhh, it feels so good!  And the party continues--Courtney and  Hazel and I flew into Las Vegas yesterday afternoon, and I have them here until next Monday.  Yay!

Hazel is a mellow baby, thank God, because we had a 5-hour non-stop flight.  (It's so nice to be able to get a direct flight to Albany.)  Funny--there was another toddler on the plane making some noise, and the people behind us were saying things like, "They should have child-free flights" and "If it were up to me, kids would be strapped to the top of the plane."  They had no clue there was a baby right in the seat in front of them.  Oh, what a braggy granny I am.

Mike's kids are sooooo excited that Courtney and Hazel are here.  It's sweet to see Courtney and Mike's 7-year-old cuddled up on the couch watching the Disney channel.  We have a unique blended family in that our kids are decades apart in age, but it all works out.  We're so lucky.

Today Mike took us on a shopping spree for Courtney's birthday; there's a strip mall here with the holy trinity of discount stores:  Target, Marshalls, and Ross Dress-for-Less.  Heaven!  I got the cutest shoes in Marshall's, in the children's section.  (I have small feet, so I can fit in children's shoes, too.)  Believe it or not, Nine West has a children's line.  Who knew?

Earlier tonight Mike watched Hazel while I took Courtney to my ballet class.   I had Courtney in ballet classes from age 7 to 17--I figured you never see a little ballerina smoking on the street corner--and although she hasn't taken a class in about 10 years, it all came back to her.  She did beautifully!  It was so much fun taking a class together, though man, I sure felt the two weeks I missed.  And 12 days in Albany was not good for my low carb initiative--I was up to 139.8 this morning, my first weigh-in back home.  That's okay; I know what to do to get the weight back down

Home!  Home with the husb and the step-darlings and I even have my daughter and granddaughter here now, too. 

And my shamrock tree. 

Life is good.  I'm a lucky gal.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Fantastic holiday... and the fun will continue

Wow, the Northeast has been having amazing weather!  It was positively glorious for yesterday's St. Patrick's Day parade in downtown Albany.  I can remember so many years of standing there freezing our asses off, but yesterday we roasted in the sun.  Although I've had a couple of memorable parade days in my new hometown of Henderson, NV--including one with my pal Hurricane Mikey--it sure was good to celebrate the holiday with old friends and family, in a place with a lot of history to me.

Here's a pic of me and my grandson, Connor, outside the McKownville Fire Department, where our pre-parade festivities began.  Can you freakin' believe how big that kid is?  He's 5'8" now!  I must be standing in a hole, because I'm almost 5'5" (I say that like there's a chance I might still grow) and I'm wearing heels, too.  (Of course.)

Oh, man, I love that kid--he's my bud.  We must have watched 10 Family Guy episodes together this visit.  Yep, making memories with Granny...

Here I am at the parade with my college roommate, Patty.  It's hard to believe it's been 36 years since we shared at dorm room at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. 

Funny that we still have the same hair color... It was also the same color back in 1976--dark brown.

There were a bunch of us watching the parade from this vantage point, the New York State Education Building. 

Man, you don't see architecture like this in Las Vegas.  Amazing. 

When my sister Lori and I were kids, Beautiful Aunt Joyce used to take us here to visit the NYS Museum, before it moved into the Empire State Plaza.  Memories...

Hey, look who's marching in the parade.  That's my nephew Andy next to Connor, and Lori peeking from behind. 

I've had a blast being back in Albany and have packed in a lot of fun.  I've also packed on a few pounds--that dreaded middle aged spread is coming back.  That's okay; I head back to Vegas tomorrow afternoon and will get back into my low-carb diet, and I'll be dancing again.  And yay!--Courtney and Hazel will be coming with me, so the good times will continue with them for another week. 

Hope you're having fun as well, and if you're on the eastern half of the country, get outside and enjoy this record-breaking weather!

P.S.  Thanks for all your comments on the clips from my show last Saturday night.  That seems so long ago now!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A couple of videos from my show Saturday night

As promised, here are a couple of videos from my show at the Comedy Syndrome Comedy Club last Saturday night. 

My mother's gonna kill me for this one...

Not really--she's always a good sport.  It's even better when she's in the audience.

In this one, I'm ranting about my sagging jawline. 

Sadly, it's all true.  Enjoy and have a great day!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Greetings from the great Northeast!

I'm back from my much needed bloggy break!  Last Wednsday night, Mike and I flew to Albany for good times with family and friends.   For the past several years, I've been wanting to be in Albany for the St. Patrick's Day holiday season, and this is my year!

Of course, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this little one--the only person allowed to put her feet on Aunt Lori's kitchen table.

Hazel is still the most serious baby ever

We have been busy, busy.  Friday, Mike and I had lunch with my friend Warren, a 72-year-old widower I met last April on a nonstop Southwest flight from Albany to Vegas.  We talked and laughed the whole way and are now friends for life.  I see Warren every time he goes to Vegas or I come to Albany.  (I swear, if you sit next to me on a plane you may never get rid of me.) 

Anyway, Friday was my daughter Courtney's birthday--I am freaking that my "baby" is 33!--and that night she and her husband, John, had a coffeehouse gig with another musician friend.  My son, Christopher, sat in for a song, too. 

John, Chris, and Courtney (the birthday girl)
It always brings me such joy to watch my kids perform.

Saturday marked the beginning of the holiday season, with the annual Corned Beef and Cabbage Day at the Washington Tavern, an Albany landmark.  The place was packed and the free corned beef and cabbage, as well as the Guinness, was delicious. 

I had to limit myself to only one, though, because I had a big night ahead of me--I was headlining at the Comedy Syndrome Comedy Club in downtown Albany that night.  Headlining!

It's one thing to do a 15-minute set here and there, but headlining is something else.  Headliners do at least 45 minutes, which in my case is everything funny I've ever said in my life.  There's a certain amount of pressure--you realize that people are paying good money and are dedicating their Saturday night to see you.  It had better be good!  That's why I needed the bloggy break--had to get my act together!

The place was packed.  Russ Davignon, who runs the club, was thrilled with the turnout and we even had a RECORD BREAKING CROWD!!!  No pressure, huh?  Thankfully, I was the best, funniest, wittiest, most relaxed version of myself on stage that night and knocked it out of the park.  WHEW!

Oh, it was so much fun.  And see, I really do practice what I preach about going out of your comfort zone.  It's scary as hell sometimes, but that's the only way growth can happen.

My sister Lori took some videos and I'll post them on YouTube in the next couple of days.  I promise.

I was so happy that Mike was able to spend a few days here, and was thrilled that he was there to see my show.  He's so wonderful and supportive.  I'm a lucky girl.  Mike headed back to Vegas yesterday (sniff).

Saying good-bye at the airport

I'm here for another week, and a busy week it will be.  Life is good, folks!  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

You weigh in on Tyson's upcoming show

I got quite a response, both here and on the link I put on Facebook, to Saturday's post about Mike Tyson's upcoming one-man show.  As I was writing that post, I thought of someone else as well.  So did a couple of readers.
"Same goes for KOBE THE RAPIST as well!"

"I was just about to get on here and agree with all you said and then go into my tirade about Kobe the Rapist Bryant. Every time I see his smug mug on TV I want to puke. I can't stand the Lakers and have lost respect for certain friends who rather say "well, he wasn't convicted" than look at the facts. I KNOW THE FAMILY OF THE GIRL WHO WAS RAPED. Rape is when someone forces you to have sex against your will. It doesn't matter if you said yes once, it doesn't matter if you change your mind and say no, when you are brutally attacked by someone as you are screaming "NO! STOP!", its called RAPE. And I speak from experience being raped myself as a teenager (age 14). These assholes don't deserve to be making so much money as celebrities - but that's our society. Who cares as long as they play sports well or have good stories to tell.  As for the LAPD doing that to Mike - if that's true, its disgusting and they should all be fired."
Don't get me started on Kobe.  And how about Michael Jackson?
"Michael Jackson certainly fooled a lot of people. You may remember he was considering doing a long-term Las Vegas gig after he escaped his child rape charge."
 That's a tough one for me.  He may have been enough of an oddball that he... jeez, I can't even finish the sentence.  I just don't know.
"Can't imagine going to his show....he is a despicable human being. Makes me think of OJ's supporters, who loved him and sought out his company, knowing his probable guilt. The cult of personality."
OJ is another one who makes me want to puke.  For years, my mother would say, "Well, he may be innocent.  They never found the killer," until we finally told her if she keeps that shit up, we're gonna put her in a home. 
"There are a million things in this world to make jokes about. Rape and pedophilia should always be left out of any kind of joke. I mean Tyson bit off an ear in a fight...that's comedy. Tyson getting a show is also comedy, because who the hell would ever believe that big man with a face tattoo and a mickey mouse voice was ever a fighter. Which may explain the reason he had to "take" it since no woman would sleep with Squeaky "No Nuts" Mcsqueakerson. And now that I broke my own rule, I say... no he doesn't deserve more publicity and I hope that people are smart enough to boycott him, forcing him to return under the rock he crawled out from under."

You know, I wondered about Tyson's voice, too.  He's not exactly, um, "speaker material."

Some people have a much more open mind than I do.

"Watch his movie...I had no interest in seeing it, but was forced to. Was actually interesting. Made me rethink. Remember two sides to every story."
 Okay, I know he had a rough childhood, blah, blah.  A lot of people did.  But they don't end up raping and beating.  I'm more in agreement with this comment:
"I find that there's usually only one side to the story of rape and that's the one the victim plays over and over in her head for years after the assault."
Here's another reader with a perspective I just can't embrace.

"Let's not be so quick to judge. He paid is debt to society by going to prison (as judged by peers in society), so that is perhaps the rationale for not mentioning the rape as a regret. I'm *not* trying to justify the behavior, but perhaps that's why he didn't mention that as top of mind.

Call me judgmental.  That's not a news flash.  I don't buy the "debt to society" crap.
"As someone who's been raped not once, not twice but three times, by three different men, in three totally different venues, I can assure you... a rapists' life goes on in their own sick world to further their demented mind, while the raped are left to deal with the aftermath their whole lives, tainting EVERY relationship they EVER have. There is nothing a rape victim can put behind them! Where a rapist can do his time, and move on with their lives."
Here's a couple more.
"My problem with all who commit heinous acts - when do we stop forgiving and providing approval for their "contrition" and begin saying enough is enough GFY?"

"This new show makes Jersey Shore seem like a better way to spend 40 mins."
And finally...
"People forget fast don't they?! Plus, HE'S A MAN. MEN get away with shit ALL THE TIME!!!! Someone should start a boycott of his show."
I don't want to man bash, but can you think of a female equivalent? 

Thank you for all your comments.  And by the way, I will go to my grave believing Anita Hill is not a liar.  We have a Supreme Court justice who's a pig as well.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sorry, I don't find convicted rapists entertaining

I'm not making this up.  According to a recent article in the Las Vegas Sun, Mike Tyson is set to debut a one-man show on April 13 at the MGM Grand's Hollywood Theater.  In "Mike Tyson:  Undisputed Truth -- Live on Stage" Tyson will be telling stories from his life.  The show is booked to run through April 18 and tickets range from $91 to $499.

Can I remind you that Tyson was CONVICTED OF RAPE in 1992 and spent three years in prison?  That he used to beat the shit out of Robin Gibbons?  Nice guy.

Maybe he'll tell this story in his show, relayed in the Sun's article:
"The cops pulled me over one day; I was all drunk and high on cocaine, and I told the cops I was lost and couldn't find my way around, and the cops drove me to the party. The cop who pulled me over, he says, 'You were great in "Hangover," and he drove me to the dope house, to a party.

"Oh, God. I had no license.  I had nothing.  It was crazy!  But he drove me there, and then he told the guy at the door, 'You make sure Mike gets home.'"
I guess some people are just above the law.  It was the LAPD, by the way.  That's what we want from our law enforcement, right?  Taxpayers in LA must be thrilled to see their money spent on that cop's salary.

Here's my favorite piece of the article:
"People want to know, 'What's one of your biggest regrets?' Wow, that ear-biting thing, that was a pretty big one!" he says.
Oh, really?  NOT FUCKING RAPING SOMEONE? (Excuse me while I channel Sam Kinison.)  Not keeping an eye on your 4-year-old daughter so she wouldn't strangle herself on the cord of a treadmill?  Did they make the Top 10 of your regret list?

It makes me sick that anyone could support such a show.  Now excuse me while I wipe the projectile vomit from my monitor.