Thursday, May 31, 2012

Roller coaster of emotions these days

How many times have you heard me say, "The universe unfolds in divine order"?  To the point of being annoying, no doubt.  Sometimes I even annoy myself with that shit.  I do believe it, though.

Every year I go up to Boise for Mother's Day, but this year I decided to wait until the following weekend.  It just worked out better that way.  As it turned out, I was there when Mom had the hypertensive crisis, and thank God for that.  Stepdaddy is awesome, but he is hard of hearing and so it was a good thing I was around to answer questions for the medical personnel and hear what they had to say about my mother's condition.

Originally, I was supposed to return to Vegas last Wednesday.  But brilliant me--I booked a flight to Boise using frequent flyer points and then booked another one-way flight from Vegas to Boise.  Yeah, like two flights to Boise, but none coming home.  DUH.  I noticed I screwed up a few days before my trip, but I couldn't get a Wednesday flight, so I booked my return for Thursday.

That allowed me to stay for the Wednesday night open mic at the Liquid Laughs comedy club, and then when I won the contest and got the chance to open for the headliner the next night, I changed my flight again, so I left on Friday.  That worked out because Mom was discharged from the hospital on Thursday, so I was around an extra day to make sure she was back to normal at home.

Mom is doing well, but unfortunately, she won't be able to fly back east for my son's wedding in a few weeks.  That's really too bad, but her doctor would like her to stay close to home right now, and no one's going to argue with that.

I am so happy for my precious son, Christopher.  The woman he is marrying is a gem; I couldn't have picked a better person for my boy.  They are truly meant for each other. Adorable together.

Chris and beautiful Ketti
Getting back to the divine unfolding, my contract on my tech writing job was over at the beginning of the month, which is freeing me up to spend a couple of weeks in Albany after the wedding.  I'm going to stay there until my grandson, Connor, gets out of school, then we'll fly back to Vegas together (hopefully, I won't screw up on the flights this time).  Connor will stay here until July 1 and we'll get that dreaded Disneyland trip in while he's visiting.

But I really, really need that time in Albany.  One of my dearest friends, whom I've known for over 40 years, became seriously ill last week with acute renal failure.  The day after my mother got out of the hospital, he went in.  The road to recovery is going to be long and could involve a transplant.  His wife is also one of my best friends, and I just can't wait to get back there so I can see both of them with my own two eyes and help however I can.  I'm warning you now, if anything happens to him, I will be a mental case.

So it's good that the company I was working for didn't have the budget to renew my contract right now.  I need to be there for my friends.  And thank God we have a joyous occasion to celebrate--I'm afraid I'll be crying tears of joy throughout the whole wedding ceremony.  It all seems to come together.  So maybe even something awesome will happen in Disneyland.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

It's better to burn out than turn into a crooner

There's a trend among old rockers and I don't like it one bit. 

I noticed it several years ago when Rod Stewart released a CD of "standards," which used to be called "old people's music."   He now has a whole slew of "The Great American Songbook" records.  Other rockers from the classic rock age have followed suit:
  • Paul McCartney's "Kisses on the Bottom" (WTF?) is a similar collection of old chestnuts. 
  • Glenn Frey of The Eagles recently released a solo record where he covers artists like Tony Bennett and Nat King Cole.
  • Alice Cooper is getting ready to release "Welcome to My Nightclub," a collection of his parents' favorite numbers.  Including "The Hokey Pokey."  (I swear, I can't make this stuff up.)
  • Ozzy Osbourne is  rumored to be working on "The Cole Porter Songbook," featuring a duet with Patti Smith.  
Huh?  The Prince of Fucking Darkness and punk rock's poet laureate singing "My Heart Belongs to Daddy"?  In the words of Stewie Griffin, "What the hell, man?"  Look, I know our rockers are getting up there, but this is just wrong. They're supposed to be rockers, our spokespeople from an era of rebellion, not freakin' crooners. 

Neil Young, if I ever find out you're doing a cover of "They Can't Take That Away From Me," I swear, I will kick your ass.

Please, I beg of you, keep on rockin' in the free world!

What say you?  Do you dig this trend?  Is Alice Cooper singing "The Hokey Pokey" really what it's all about?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Tough love -- it works both ways

Well, my mother is back to her normal self.
Mom (explaining how she keeps her credit cards straight):  "I put a swastika on this one."
Me:  "WHAT???"
Mom:  "Not swastika.  Asterisk."
I left her in good hands with Stepdaddy and got back from Boise yesterday afternoon.  Oh, that handsome husband of mine was a sight for sore eyes!  Actually, he picked me up from the airport in green shorts and a totally different color green shirt. I was like, "Honey, nice outfit," and he was all, "That's what happens when you leave me alone."  That and the fact that the kids ate their breakfast cereal out of plastic cups that morning because somebody waited till the last minute to throw a week's worth of dishes in the dishwasher.  At any rate, the love palace was shiny clean when I got home.  Good job, Michael!

Again, thanks for all your kind wishes for Mom's good health.  Now that I know she's fine, I am up her ass about losing weight.  I know--there's nothing more annoying than having someone tell you something you already know, especially about your weight, and especially when it's coming from someone who's never had a real weight issue.

What caused her to have stroke-like symptoms is a condition called hypertensive encephalopathy.  She was having a hypertensive crisis, which is experienced by about 1 percent of people with hypertension, commonly referred to as high blood pressure.  This is serious shit, people; you cannot fuck with your blood pressure.  You have to do whatever you can to keep it under control. And what do you think the Mayo Clinic and every other doctor on earth identifies as the #1 thing to do to control your blood pressure?

That's right:  Lose extra pounds and watch your waistline.  The second thing?  Exercise regularly.

I've written about this before; check out my post, "If this post doesn't help you lose weight, then I give up."  I'm the furthest thing from being a nutritionist, but I have a pretty rockin' body for being 54 years old and that should count for something.

Look, I admit that I stay slender because I'm so vain, Carly Simon even wrote a song about me.  I want to look good because I perform in front of people, plus I have a 7-year-old stepchild and when she graduates from high school in friggin' 2023, I don't want to cheer her on looking like a cast member from Cocoon.

But the issue here is bigger than vanity, it's good health.  I want to stay healthy so I can enjoy my children, stepchildren, and grandchildren for as long as I possibly can.  I plan to dance at Hazel's 50th birthday party, so I have to stay good at least until I'm 102.  And most importantly, I don't want to be in a position where anyone has to take care of me.  Who does, right?

Last weekend, before shit hit the fan, my mother pointed to an elderly lady being helped up from her chair.

"Soon you'll be doing that for me," Mom said.

"Oh, hell, no!" I told her.  "I'll help you if you're old, but I'm not gonna help you just because you're fat."

Later that day, she was squatting on the floor getting something from a bottom drawer in the kitchen.

"Oh, shit!" she said, laughing.  "I can't get up."

"Well, you'll just have to stay there until you lose enough weight and can get up by yourself," was my reply.

That was the day before she landed in the hospital.  In ICU, I might add.

Okay, Mom isn't like Gilbert Grape fat or anything--one of my friends says she just "Grandma fat." But she's definitely overweight and if lying in the ER not being able to say your own name isn't enough of a motivator to lose some pounds, then I don't know what is.

Here's the bottom line to everyone of any age.  Love your children?  Great.  The best thing you can do for them is to stay healthy.

Don't hate me.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Update on Mom and another change of plans

Wow.  What a week.

First, thanks to everyone for your comments, emails, and texts expressing concern for Mom.  She was released from the hospital yesterday and, thank God, seems to be doing well.  What a scare, though.

Those of you who know my mother--in real life, virtually, or through my book--know she has a fantastic sense of humor and she loves being the butt of my jokes.  Hell, without her, I'd barely have a comedy act; let's just say she's a goldmine for material.  And even through all the craziness this week, we found all kinds of stuff to laugh at.

Okay, so Sunday we went to some kind of cultural festival, which used to be called "Hippie Fest," at Eagle State Park outside of Boise.  It was a beautiful day, and the high point was sitting in the sun drinking a delicious Black Butte Porter (white wine for Mom), listening to a guy sing a most gentle version Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."  Perfect.

Stepdaddy and Mom on Sunday afternoon

The next morning after breakfast we were sitting at the table making plans to check out a new Ross Dress-for-Less when all of a sudden I thought she was talking out the side of her mouth and slurring her words.  "Keep talking," I told her (something I'd never encourage) and sure enough, I knew something was wrong.

Needless to say, off we were to the nearest Urgent Care.  By the time we got there, her speech was okay, and I told the triage nurse, "If she kind of sounds like Barbara Walters, don't worry; that's normal for her." We had a good laugh, but the nurse was so concerned about Mom's blood pressure that she ordered an ambulance to take her to the ER for further evaluation.   I said I could drive her, but I think Mom pulled the nurse aside and said, "Look, my life is in enough danger.  Don't make me ride with her."

So I watched them load Mom into the ambulance, offered to take a quick picture for her Facebook page because I'm considerate like that, and then met her at the ER, where they did all kinds of tests.  As we waited for the results, I looked at her lying there all hooked up to all these monitors and was like, "Sooooo... does this mean we're not going to Ross today?"

Fortunately, everything came back great.  They concluded that the stroke-like symptoms were caused by elevated blood pressure--and it was super high.  They gave her a prescription to fill and sent her home.  After dinner she sat there shouting Jeopardy answers, I mean questions, to Alex Trebeck and everything was business as usual.

But right before bedtime, things were definitely not fine.  Mom almost totally lost her ability to speak and that was scary.  Stepdaddy and I raced her back to the hospital.  At that point, she could speak again, but her cognitive abilities were definitely impaired.  They'd ask her her name, and she'd be like, "My name?  Oh, shit.  I should know that."  As they got her blood pressure more in control, she could respond appropriately.  I asked her my name and she said, "Linda," and when I asked her my last name she looked at me like, "Jesus Christ, how the hell am I supposed to keep track of that? It changes with every goddamn husband."

After a couple of hours in the ER, they transferred her to ICU, where they could keep a good eye on her.  She was obviously feeling better because she was complaining about the beep-beep-beeping and Jesus Christ, I feel like I'm in a goddamn fishbowl, so Tuesday afternoon they moved her to a regular room, which, thankfully, was to her liking.  Yesterday they sprung her loose, and fingers crossed this whole ordeal never happens again.

Since Mom was home and doing well under Stepdaddy's watchful eye, last night I decided to take in an open mic at Liquid Laughs in downtown Boise.  It's a nice room and the crowd was great. As it turned out, they were having a contest; the best comic of the night got a $50 gift card and the opportunity to open for headliner Gabriel Rutledge tonight.  Well, guess who won?  I was supposed to go back to Vegas today, but now I'll be heading home tomorrow.  Again, fingers crossed.


Thanks again to every single one of you for your good wishes.  You have no idea how much I appreciate that you even stop at this site, much less take the time to write.   I am grateful for so, so much.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

When you least expect it...

One day I'm enjoying HippieFest with Mom, and then the next day she's in ICU, which is where I'm pecking away on my iPhone right now. Quite a scare, but a full recovery is expected. They'll be moving her to a regular room soon. Can't write much at the moment. Be back soon.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

What? Traveling again???

I'm up in Boise for a few days, having a belated Mother's Day celebration with Mom. I'm busy-busy dragging Mom all over Potatoville and don't have much time to write, and since I seem to have a bunch of new readers, I thought I'd post an updated version of something from a couple of years ago that probably most of you have never seen.  And certainly don't need to know.

25 Random Facts About Me

1. I am the oldest of five kids spread over 14 years. My mother and the girl next to me in French class were pregnant at the same time.

2. I had two kids when I was 21 and still finished my bachelor’s degree at 23.  I got my master's 10 years later.

3. I have never tried soy, sushi, yogurt, or guacamole simply because I don’t like the sound of them.

4. A few years ago, I came in second place in a pretty feet contest. It was held at a gas station in New Orleans.

5. I’m absolutely helpless. I can’t open a box of pasta without making a mess of it. If I have to sit in the emergency exit row of an airplane, I can tell you now, we'll all die.

6. I love men, but I would never, ever want to be one. Unless I were a rock star. Then I’d want to be Neil Young.

7. I have been to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival 14 times.

JazzFest 2002, I think.

8. I totally admit that I’m a cross between Private Benjamin and Princess & the Pea.

9. Every morning my weight is somewhere between 137-139.  The most I weighed when I was pregnant was 139.

10. Regarding weight, a famous actress once said that as women age, at some point they’ll have to choose between their ass and their face because as you get older, they’re simply not going to look good at the same time. I’m choosing my face.

11. From day one, my mother told me I was soooo smart and soooo beautiful. That's why I have such high self-esteem; Iit never occurred to me that she'd be lying.

12. When I was little, I asked my mother if the air was blowing the trees around or if the trees were moving and that’s what made it windy. She answered with, “Jesus Christ, what the hell kind of stupid goddamn question is that?” Maybe I wasn't that smart after all.

13. I have never had a day at work that was better than a day at home.

14. I used to regularly consult psychics. Prudence, my tarot card reader, is cheaper and more effective than a therapist.

15. I watched Guiding Light for over 30 years. My sisters and I used to go to NYC for their annual fan club gatherings. So queer! I don’t care--when I first moved to Las Vegas, my friends in Springfield were the only friends I had.

16. I am easily annoyed. And I have zero patience. But I still think I’m nice as hell.

17. I took ballet lessons on and off into my mid-30’s and started again a few months ago. I’m so graceful, I could trip over the pattern in the carpet.

18. I have a sister with whom I've been estranged for five years, but I think of her every day.

19. When I meet people, I know I subconsciously give them extra points if they’re Jewish, Canadian, or gay.  Stereotyping people in a positive way is okay, don't you think?

20. My life’s purpose came to me one morning when I was meditating. “To help others access, acknowledge and accept their God-given talents and help them share those talents with the rest of the world.” Sounds corny as hell, but I do believe it’s true.

21. I believe in love at first sight. I believe it can happen more than once.

22. Sometimes to motivate myself to clean, I pretend Princess Di and JFK, Jr. have come back to life and are coming over for dinner.

23.  I am not very materialistic. Yes, I now have a spiral staircase and a baby grand piano in my living room, I sometimes long for my old apartment with all my junky crap.
Shabby chic!

24. I used to go for younger men. Like at one point I had two kids and a boyfriend all in their 20’s. But I much prefer guys within a couple of years of my own age.  Mike is 6 months younger--perfect.

25. I swear to God, I don’t think I’m any worse looking now than when I was younger. The only thing I hate about getting older is that I’m running out of time and I’m afraid I won’t be able to accomplish everything I want.

Yep, of everything that people should know about me, this is what I’m putting out there!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

It's not easy being me, but it sure doesn't suck, either

I'm always looking for ways to get Mike's kids away from the video games, so last night I got us tickets to see Recycled Percussion at the Tropicana.   I mean well; I really do.  And I should have known better.  But it wasn't until we walked in and they handed everyone a drumstick and a metal pot to bang on that it hit me:  This is not going to be a show for a Highly Sensitive Person like me.

I don't even care if I sound like an old bat--I cannot stand a lot of noise.  Or commotion.  That's why I'll never go to another Cirque de Soleil show (see post Mark My Words: Bastard Husband Will Never Be a Cirque de Soleil Production); I can't take all that jumping around.  I just want to tell everyone to sit still, will ya?  I'm a nightmare to see a movie with (see "Pet Peeve #437: LOUD Talkers at the Movies") and even the sound of someone chewing popcorn--or merely breathing too loudly--can make me mental. 

Anything can set me off--the sound of an air conditioner, people who talk too much, somebody sniffing, any kind of music I don't like, the sound of the crowd at a football game on TV, the sound I can hear even when the person is wearing ear buds, video games... I could go on and on.  The bottom line is, I'm in a perpetual state of annoyance.  It's safe to say that at any given moment, I'm secretly plotting the death of someone who's driving me nuts. 

Anyway, the Recycled Percussion show was loud as hell and at one point I thought I might cry from all the noise, but the kids loved it and that's all that mattered.  Afterward, we stopped at Ben & Jerry's in the District at Green Valley Ranch so I could get my Coffee, Coffee, Buzz Buzz Buzz fix (I swear, I should be in a 12-step program for that deliciousness) and then when we got home, I sequestered myself in the master suite...

My heaven

 ... which conveniently has a balcony with a small fridge stocked with Young's Chocolate Stout. 

Thank you, Thomas Edison, for inventing electricity

Whatever it takes, people.

Anyway, I've been on the Strip twice in two days.  Tuesday night, I met my dear friend Kri Monster for happy hour at Harrah's to see "Big Elvis."  I've been meaning to catch this guy (Pete Vallee) for years now.  Whatever you do, be sure to click on this article, "Big Elvis:  The Greatest Weight Loss Story Ever Told" for a fascinating look at how he lost 500 POUNDS.  So you can see why I was curious, right?

Well, if you live here or are ever visiting, be sure to catch Big Elvis.  I'm not a crazy Elvis fan (even though I've been to both Graceland and his birthplace), but man, Big Elvis has an incredible voice and it's a kick to take in the audience.  Plus, it's a free show.

iPhone cameras suck indoors

So there you go.  Does anyone have any questions?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Better every year!

Ha!  I posted that cheesy pic of myself in my new jeans on Facebook and got 22 comments, all favorable except one:

See?  As awesome as it must be to have a cool mom who gives amazing advice and can do your resume and fly you out to Vegas whenever you want, there is a down side.  Yes, there is a down side...

I love those freakin' jeans, "age appropriate" or not.

I've come to the conclusion that I'm actually a 21-year-old trapped in a 30-year-old body.  HAHAHAHA!!! OMG, I just reached a new level of assholiness!  And you're here to witness it.

Anyway, I'm totally digging that show Girls on HBO.  Are you watching it?  Twenty-four-year-old Lena Dunham is the writer and executive producer, and man, that chick is talented.  The website calls it "a comic look at the humiliations and rare triumphs of a group of girls in their early 20s," and if you don't think that would interest you, let me tell you I can't believe the sex scenes in this show.  I'm gonna sound like a prude, despite the fact that I'm the owner of those spankin' hot jeans, but I think those scenes are a bit over the top.  Like seriously close to pornographic, which I never cared for.  Because I'm a prude.  Ironically.

At any rate, it's written with full-frontal honesty--pun intended--and the acting is superb.  Lena Dunham plays the main character, Hannah, and she's a real person, not a size 0 Hollywood definition of how a 20-something should look.  In the first show, her parents tell her they'll no longer support her, and you know how I feel about parents paying cell phone bills and car insurance for their 25-year-old supposed-to-be-adult children.

I really do like young people, though (once they get past the Disneyland age), and nothing thrills me more than hearing from a girl in her 20s or in college who's read my book.  I also get a kick when teenagers friend me on Facebook.  In fact, this comment came from a high school senior:

I love life!  Would I ever want to be 24 again?  No fucking way!  I get better every year.  Don't you?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I've outdone myself

Remember I told you that black people freakin' love my comedy?  I wasn't kidding.  Last night I did a set out at Choice's Pub and knocked it out of the park.  I was the only white comic; it was me and six black guys.  The crowd was also mostly all black--out of forty or so people, I think there were about five of us who would check the Caucasian box on a job application.  I just think it's so funny that I go over so well with that demographic.

Hey, I have to show you the new kick-ass jeans I'm wearing tonight.

Yes, I know they are totally age inappropriate and nothing that anyone's grandmother should wear, but guess what?  Tough shit!  I'm rockin' these babies!  (But look at that cheesy pose--I'm such an a-hole.)

No surprise, I bought them at the bike fest down in Laughlin a couple of weeks ago.  I was on the fence, wondering if I was too old to wear stuff like this, but the woman selling them was about my age (or else she had a hard life--you never know) and she looked awesome, plus my friend Donna talked me into buying them.  I'm glad I did--they're fun as hell!

I have to admit I wasn't sure how they would go over with the husb; he's a lot more conservative than I am.  He loves them on me, but I'm quite sure he thinks of them as my "Wear only with Mike" jeans.  No problem--I always assure him that 1) nobody could ever steal me away from him, and 2) if they did, it would be like The Ransom of Red Chief and they'd be begging him to take me off their hands.

Anyway, as I'm writing this at 10:30 p.m., I'm getting psyched for the Comedy All-Nighter 2 at Boomer's, the bar where I did stand-up for the very first time.  Comics will be taking the stage starting at 11:59 and continuing all night until 8:00 a.m.  I went last year and had a ball, and lasted until the sun came up. 

So yes, I'll be partying all night in my rockin' biker jeans.  Just your typical Vegas Granny.  Anybody have a problem with that?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

All over the map with JazzFest, Disneyland, and gay marriage

You guessed right--we were in New Orleans for JazzFest.  If you've never been, you must.  You must!  Why?  Check out my post from 2009, "10 Reasons to Go to JazzFest Next Year."  In the two days we took in (there are seven days total over two weekends), we caught The Eagles, Bonnie Raitt, The Neville Brothers, Galactic, Steve Earle, My Morning Jacket, Foo Fighters, Asleep at the Wheel, and many local and regional zydeco, blues, jazz, and gospel artists.  Unbelievable.

This was Mike's first JazzFest, and it was cool to share the experience with him.

I've been to New Orleans about 16 times--14 JazzFests and two other visits.  I love the music, the food, the people, and the energy.  On the downside, it's filthy and smelly and I wouldn't walk around there alone at night, even in the tourist-packed French Quarter.  There are too many dark alleys and crevices and, surprisingly, almost no police presence.  In my opinion, they could use a lot more cops on the beat.  But the good certainly outweighs the bad, so if you've never been, you're in for a treat.

During JazzFest, the hotel prices in town are out of sight, so we stay in the suburbs in Metairie.  The airport is crazy on the Monday after the Fest, so we always leave on Tuesday and spend Monday night in the Quarter, when the hotel rates are lower.

Here's something to consider when you're traveling, especially when there's a bunch of you:  Instead of packing everybody into a regular old hotel room, look for timeshares in the area.  Don't worry, you don't have to commit to a full week; most timeshares rent out units on a nightly basis just as hotels do.  The accommodations are generally much better--we got a two bedroom unit with a living room and kitchenette across the street from the French Market for only $190.  There was plenty of room for the five of us, and split five ways, it was a good, cheap deal. 

I have to show you the picture hanging on the wall in the bedroom Mike and I stayed in.

I thought that was funny.  Not a photo portraying the charm of New Orleans, but a motivational poster for enthusiasm!?  (You're probably wondering how I could sleep with a picture of a bird in the room.) 

Oh, how I love to travel!  I have two more trips on the horizon--one back to Albany, which I'm really looking forward to, and the other to... FML... Disneyland.  So NOT looking forward to that one, but it's part of my wifey/stepmother duties.  I really, really, really do not want to go--I could barely get through LEGOLAND last year (see this post), and I know this will be a hundred times worse.  I'm not a kid person and I hear Disneyland is full of birds.  Plus I can't stand all that Disney shit.  So if I fall off the bloggy grid in the next couple of months, you'll know I faked my own death. 

Or...  Oh, this is a great idea.  OMG, I am so brilliant.   Shhhh.... keep this quiet.  I'll suggest we wait to visit Disneyland in the fall when it's much cooler.  In fact, let's go October 5-7.  Yes, that would be the perfect celebration for the weekend after my birthday.  Oh, and honey, be sure to wear that nice red shirt I bought for you...  Perfect!  (Click this link to get the joke.)  Now, that's something I could handle!

On a related note, I hope I never have to set foot in North Carolina again.

Shameful.  Thank you, President Obama, for being the first president to support gay marriage.  It's about freakin' time.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Home, sweet freakin' home


What a wonderful sight to see!  Mike and I left last Friday afternoon and after three full days and four nights of sheer revelry with my sister Lori, brother-in-law Russ, and friends Donna, Dennis, and Jerry, I am exhausted!  Exhausted and fat--I can't bear to step on the scales tomorrow.  That is not going to be pretty.  Oh, but all the FUN was well worth it!  Plus, we walked miles and miles every day; that should count for something.

I have a ton of email and other stuff to catch up on--if I owe you something, you'll be hearing from me soon.  I also want to respond to the very thoughtful comments you left on Saturday's post.  I'm tired as hell right now, so I'll give you the full report on Thursday.  

So where did we go?  Here's a hint:

Still can't figure it out?  Oh, now I'm giving it away:

More to come...

Stay tuned...

Hey, I slipped away when you weren't looking. On my way back to Vegas today; I'll post with details of my adventure later. I'm pecking away on my iPhone right now--more to come!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Nope, I am definitely not a feminist

(I'm writing this in a hurry, so forgive any grammar mistakes.)  (That means you, Mom.) :)

I so love the comments you left on my last post.  Today I want to talk about the double standard when it comes to the notion that "sex sells" and why we see so many half-to-mostly naked women in advertisements and selling things in real life and hardly any seductive men.

First, let's face it:  It's a man's world.  I realized this back in 1991 when they delayed the broadcast of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson to tell us that Magic Johnson had AIDS.  I'm sure he's a lovely man, but Magic Johnson was just one of many equally famous sports stars--it wasn't like, holy shit, the greatest athlete of all time has AIDS.  I remember thinking, what woman would be so important that the announcement of her disease would necessitate the delay of the Johnny Carson show?  Over 20 years later, I still don't have an answer to that question.

Don't get me wrong--I love men.  LOVE!  They are fucking awesome.  But it's not lost on me that they're ultimately running the show.  And guess what?  Men aren't so keen on seeing other men half naked.  (Unless they're gay, but it's safe to say they're not the ones I'm referring to as being in control.)  So that's one reason why (female) sex sells. 

Another reason why we don't see men selling their wares in Speedos is--and let me know if I'm wrong about this--women are simply not that turned on by the perfect male form.

Let me explain, and keep in mind this is coming only from my own perspective.  The male body in itself means nothing to us because a body is just a body; women don't get turned unless there's an emotional attachment.  Even when I was single, I never had any desire to see the Chippendale's or Thunder Down Under.  Why would I  be fawning over someone I didn't even know?  Besides that, too-perfect male bodies are intimidating to us; we're not secure enough about our own bodies to be with, or even appreciate from afar, a guy's body that's too sculpted.  Not to mention, we also presume there's underlying ego issues beneath all those muscles and all that time in the gym that we simply don't want to deal with.  Real men have meat--and fat--on their bones!

Seriously, give me a guy with a gut any day.  To me, that's the sexiest part of a man.  I remember when the Crocodile Hunter died and they were showing a clip of him wrestling a croc in the water and his shirt came up and revealed his stomach--I was like, god-damn, that's hot!  Manly, yes!

Whew!  Now, where was I?  Oh, yeah.  One more thing.  Women--and I'm talking straight women, not just lesbians--would much rather see a hot female body.  When we see an amazingly shaped female, we're blown away because we know what it takes to achieve that, whether it's by disciplined diet and exercise or sheer luck with the gene pool.  It's no secret that women look at other women more than we look at men.  As I say in my book, I'm not going to learn any beauty tips from a 230-pound rugby player.  But they do have their place...

So I guess the bottom line is, women are the tits. And that's why we see so many of them.  Don't you agree?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

You're never too old for your first wet T-shirt contest (to watch, I mean) (duh)

So let me tell you more about the River Run bike fest down in Laughlin last week.

Well, it took me 54 years to witness my first wet T-shirt contest and my friend Donna and I agreed it was nowhere near as skanky as I imagined those things to be.  It was held in a parking lot of one of the casinos, so being in an open space like that, they had to have some controls.  Like the contestants had to wear pasties, so you couldn't really see anything through their shirts, anyway, as they pranced about on stage.

One of the contestants was gorgeous and the rest ranged from attractive to, um, not so much.  Despite the fact that Ms. Gorgeous had a bubbly personality and even did a split on stage, she only came in second.  The winner was a good looking woman whom the announcer made sure we all knew was 42 years old.  Forty-two years old!!!  He made it sound like she was ancient.  The winner was determined by the round of applause, and the crowd clearly dug the fact that she was age of GILF not MILF, so she strutted off with first place and a couple of hundred dollars. 

I thought that was cool.  Now, there was another woman in the contest who was 53, but...  not to sound like an a-hole...  but she wasn't a "Linda Lou 53," if you know what I mean, and the crowd didn't give her quite as warm a reception.  And there were some women on that stage whose time really, really would have been better spent somewhere else (like in a library or gym, or even at the dentist).  All in all, though, there was an vibe of  good fun, and like I said, the overall skank factor was low.

Afterward we headed over to the lot where my hot friend Adrian was selling beer.

Donna and I watched her with sheer jealousy admiration as she teased and joked with her patrons.  Everybody wanted to have their pictures taken with her (I didn't, of course--see last post!)  How interesting it was to see both men and women react to this magnificent physical form, who BTW, also has a killer personality.   What must that be like? Donna and I wondered.  I mean, I've experienced a tiny bit of that type of admiring attention at book signings and after comedy gigs, but it certainly wasn't because of my looks. 

So is it wrong to earn money from wet T-shirt and other contests, or get crazy tips simply because of the way you look?  Is that degrading to women?

I say, HELL, NO!!!*

Hey, if you've got it, flaunt it.  Make the most of it.  Earn money from it. Enter every contest you can.  It's almost cliche, but there really are "dancers" who use their earnings to pay for tuition or otherwise better their lives.  Nothing wrong with it, in my opinion.  (Let me make it clear that I'm talking about emotionally healthy, non-abused adult women who participant by their own free will.)

So why the asterisk *?  Okay, this is where I get picky-picky.  I think it's okay to use your looks as a means to an end, but you have to have something else going on.  Real beauty comes from the inside out, and that's the type that never fades.  If all you have is good looks, the day will come where you'll be crying in the beer you didn't sell.   Adrian did some of the contests down in Laughlin this year, but according to her Facebook page, that's the end of it.  Next stop:  nursing school.

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

This year's adventures at the Laughlin River Run

Usually I go to the annual Laughlin River Run bike fest on the Saturday of the event, but this year my pal Donna had tickets to see Bon Jovi Saturday night, so we both took last Friday off from work and headed down the highway.

I've attended the River Run every year since 2008, when I wrote this piece, back when I was a columnist for  Longtime readers know that I'm not really a biker chick--I'm too Private Benjamin/Princess and the Pea for motorcycles--but I do love the biker culture.   The music is always great and anything goes--no one cares what you're wearing or if you're overweight or your roots are in dire need of a touch-up. Everyone's just out for a good time. That's liberating.

That said, as a general rule of thumb, whatever you wear should probably cover your ass crack.

Oh, my.  Like, wouldn't you think he'd feel a little breeze down there?  This is terrible, but that kind of looks like my father.  Like if my father was a biker dude instead of a bus driver.

Anyway, here I am sporting a Harley tank top my sister Lori Biker gave me. 


I'm such a poser, huh?  Noooo, I can't get on a motorcycle!  The helmet will mess up my hair!

So it's kind of obvious that I didn't just get off a bike. But Donna and I were noticing that this year there were a LOT of people there who didn't look like bikers.  I mean, we saw people pushing baby strollers and guys in freakin' golf shirts!  Interesting.

My friend Adrian was working there again this year, selling beer in the parking lot of one of the casinos on the Laughlin Strip.  Adrian is not only freakin' hot, she's the nicest, sweetest, funniest person.  I mean hilarious.  She asked me about doing stand-up and I'm going to encourage that big time.  She's a natural. 

(I know I have a bunch of new male readers who will thank me for that one!)

Adrian insisted we get a few pictures together and I was like, "Get the fuck out of here.  I'm pretty good looking until I stand next to you!"  But I can't resist her, so she won.

I just want you to know that smile on my face is totally fake. My self-esteem isn't strong enough to stand next to a size 0 without crying on the inside.  I have more to tell you about our day in Laughlin, but right now I need to do my Buns of Steel video.  A hundred times.

To be continued on Thursday...