Did he, or didn’t he?

•January 16, 2017 • 32 Comments

I’m only posting this because I care about you.

You’ve no doubt been:

Waiting...to hear about what happened...to me...or to him...or if the hat make too much of a statement.

Waiting…to hear about what happened to me…or to him…or if my hat is a bit much.

 

wondering (about how things turned out for me, not wondering about inane stuff like if they make a phone the thickness of a potato chip, is it baked or fried?)

Wondering…about how things turned out…for me…or him…or if above-the-waist pants will ever make a comeback.

 

Having difficulty focusing...it's happening now, isn't it?

Having difficulty focusing…it’s happening now, isn’t it?

 

Well, I’m here to end the madness.

After reading this, you can go back to your normal lives. Good luck with that.

After reading this, you can go back to your normal lives. Good luck with that.

Remember the post I did about the comedian, Gary Gulman?

No? Well, click here to refresh your addled brain.

You didn’t click on the link even if you didn’t remember the post, did you? That’s okay. I understand. You’re busy.

Here’s a synopsis.

  • I love Gary’s smart, observational, self-deprecating humor.
  • I saw him perform live in Portland.
  • He seemed depressed.
  • I was worried.
  • I asked my readers if I should contact him to express my concerns.
  • Many of you shared your advice.

I emailed Gary.

I told him I was a fan in the most complimentary way imaginable. Yada yada yada. And then I wrote this:
Back to Portland, you and me. You didn’t see me, but I saw you…a you I wasn’t expecting. Having seen everything you’ve put out there for audience viewing pleasure, my expectations were through the roof. I should have known better. The Buddha says that all suffering begins with expectations. He’s right.
 
Oh, I laughed plenty. No regrets. I’d buy tickets twice as expensive to see you again tomorrow!
 
Here’s the thing…I can’t stop worrying about you. Is that too weird? It’s the material you did on your depression that’s got me concerned.
 
I was laughing along with everyone else, seeing way too much of my former behaviors in many of the examples you were sharing (the leveling off of the ice cream—it’s good to know I’m not alone!). Then something happened as you kept going on with the theme of depression: I felt myself getting sad.
 
What? Sad? At a comedy club with Gary he-da-main-funny-man-in-da-land Gulman as the headliner? I don’t drink (well, okay, water. I drink water) and let’s say edible marijuana is delightful and totally medicinal (like any flavor of brandy for any ailment, according to my grandmother, God rest her soul), so my sadness wasn’t due to inebriation.
 
My sadness, I believe, was because I felt your pain.
 
Either you are so freaking professional and dedicated to your craft that you became depressed to execute that new material to perfection. If so, may I say to you, Sir, Bravo!
 
Or, you were simply being you and sharing your life with strangers. For an hour or so, we all got to laugh. Almost everyone went home and went back to their lives with a sigh and a few comments about a fun evening. And then there’s me who ruminated for two weeks about whether I should contact you or not.
 
This could go one of four ways:
 
  1. Lorna is crazy. Delete. End of her. Now I’m going to go make myself a bowl of cereal. Reading this email was exhausting.
  2. Lorna is sweet, but needs to get a grip because stand-up in a small club is nothing like a Netflix special or appearance on every talk show ever. I’ll have my manager send her a head shot of me with a stamped autograph, that should get her off my case.
  3. Lorna is perceptive and compassionate in addition to being sweet. I’m going to ruminate over what to do about this email. She’ll probably never hear from me, but my intentions were noble.
  4. Lorna is perceptive, compassionate, sweet, and kind of funny. I hope she isn’t considering a career in comedy. It’s not for everyone. I’ll email her pronto to discourage her…but nicely.
 In case you haven’t spent enough time with me, I wrote a blog about you and my dilemma (should I contact you or not?) after seeing your live performance. Here’s the link. You may here this all the time, but I’ve never written to a celebrity before. 
That’s a lie. I wrote to Ellen DeGeneres once. I’m certain she chose Option 1 above.
No matter what, Gary, I believe in you and I remain in awe of your wit, intellect, and courage. Next time you’re in Portland, you probably won’t see me, but I’ll definitely see you!
Always, Lorna
A couple of weeks went by. Then I got this response:
Thank you for caring. I will be OK. Happy Holidays.
Gary

I’m not sure what to make of all this.

I lied. I have some theories. Stay tuned…

Darn that Lorna! She's up to her old tricks again. Or is it that she's just older and trickier? Darn that Lorna!

Darn that Lorna! She’s up to her old tricks again. Or is it that she’s just older and trickier? Darn that Lorna!

Smog is Not the Prob in Portlandia

•December 27, 2016 • 45 Comments
You'd be surprised at the quality menu items in this establishment.

You’d be surprised at the quality menu items in this establishment.

Did you know that Portland is the most vegan-friendly city in the Universe on the Planet in America?

You do now.

Did you know that the health benefits of a vegan diet are too numerous to mention because:

  1. let’s face it, you have the attention span of camera shutter set on “burst mode” because of all the sugar you just consumed.
  2. I have way better things to do than copy and paste an entry from Wikipedia.

Did you know that there are some, oh, interesting consequences to a vegan diet? It’s best if you watch this two-minute video.

Let’s just say:

  1. I’ve been to this restaurant.
  2. I wish I had known about their “special” patio.
  3. Do not attempt vegan or raw food diets without first consulting anyone you love and with whom you wish to maintain a dignified relationship.

Hope this and every day is a happy, healthy, comfortable one!

Did you hear about the blonde who went to a comedy club and got depressed?

•December 19, 2016 • 45 Comments
I laugh until it hurt. And then all that was left was, well, you can see all that was left.

I laughed until it hurt. And then all that was left was, well, you can see all that was left.

You think I’m joking, don’t you?

Well, you’d be half-right. But which half?

Guess you’ll just have to keep reading, won’t you? (They don’t call me the Queen of Cliffhangers for nothing.*)

Backstory

I discovered this comedian with whom I’ve fallen in fun-love. He’s my ideal humor-hunk. What gifts does this Adonis of Comedis have, you ask?

  • He’s clever. He rarely curses because he doesn’t have to. He knows real words and uses them effectively.
  • His humor is either observational or self-depricating, so it’s almost universal in its appeal (at least I think so, and, let’s face it, my opinion is what matters most).
  • He has kind eyes and a sweet smile. Awwwwww.
  • Okay, he’s tall (6’6″), dark, and handsome (if you like those heroes in romance novels with long hair…the men…the Jewish ones).

He has a few Netfilx specials and YouTube videos. That’s how I discovered him. I’m not a talent scout. Please don’t flood my comments section with audition tapes.

He’s been on every talk show. Ever.

If he ever gets famous, he’s gonna be, well, incredibly famous.

His name is Gary Gulman.

His name is Gary Gulman. Imagine what’s beneath that manly purple shirt. No, not the undershirt, silly.

Main Story

He had a show at the Helium Club in Portland on December 9. Philip and I went.

I was, to put it mildly, excited. But, being 59, I had to pace myself.

I was, to put it mildly, excited. But, being 59, I had to pace myself.

The two comedians who opened for him were doomed from the start. Kind of like the winner of a local karaoke contest opening for Rhianna. But, remember, we were in Portland. We’re chill. Also a little drunk (or high). We gave these guys some love, but we all wanted Gary. Gary. Gary! Gary! GARY! GARY!

You get the picture.

Enter Gary. My comedic dreamboat.

My, my, my…had his shower broken in his hotel room?

He looked, in a word, homeless. Portland homeless, but homeless.

Grungy jeans, sloppy plaid flannel shirt (I think it was buttoned correctly, I wouldn’t swear to it), hair either wet or greasy, hadn’t shaved recently, poor posture. Come to think of it, maybe he was trying to fit in.

Maybe it's the new look? I hope not.

Maybe it’s the newest look? I hope not. I’m an old-fashioned gal. I like my guy shower fresh, not shower less.

No, he didn’t look well.

Okay, so the Helium isn’t Carnegie Hall. Why gussy up? Comedy is comedy. You don’t need a tux to bust a gut!

He didn’t think our applause when he entered was effusive enough. We gave it another go. Better that time, but he said, “It doesn’t count if you have to beg for it.”

I thought, “This isn’t starting off very well, but it’s Gary he-da-man Gulman. Give him time to warm up.” I did.

He had some hysterical lines and observations, but the majority of his hour-long show was about his battle with depression. Yes, depression.

At first, I laughed along with the crowd at his confessions about his:

  • negations with himself to get out of bed
  • lack of motivation for self-care
  • self-medication with comfort foods
  • general lack of enthusiasm
We've all had one or 45 of those days, honey. We can relate. But, Sweetie, you're killing my buzz.

We’ve all had one or 45 of those days, Honey. We can relate. But, Sweetie, you’re killing my buzz.

We’ve all experienced some of these things and can relate. That’s why I laughed.

Then I got sad. He kept repeating things. His performance was disjointed.

I wanted to rush the stage and hug him…not because I wanted a hug from him, but I thought he could use one from me.

I thought of Robin Williams and, well, you know, other famous comedians who suffer(ed) from depression. I’m sure there are others, but, hey, this isn’t a freaking research paper for Psych 101.

I worried about his wellbeing. What would he do after the show? He wouldn’t be alone, would he? When would he wash his hair?

I talked to Philip on way the home. He said comedians use small shows to work out their material for their taped specials. “Don’t worry,” he told me.

That sounded plausible. But I’ve been watching videos of his performances and he looks so much healthier in those videos.

I can’t stop worrying about this very clever, very funny, very different man from the one I fell in fun-love with in cyberspace. (How many times have women lamented that one?)

You didn't look quite so, um, intense in your profile picture. Remind me what you do for a living. Ah, yes, professional mourner and professional scarecrow. Two separate degrees? Inspiring.

You didn’t look quite so, um, intense in your profile picture. Remind me what you do for a living. Ah, yes, professional mourner and professional scarecrow. Two separate degrees? Inspiring.

So, I went to his website…

I haven’t contacted him yet.

What do you think? Should I send Gary a little note telling him how awesome I think he is?
Or should I stop going to comedy clubs because clearly I’m in over my head.

 

*No one has ever called me the Queen of Cliffhangers. I stay at least 20 feet from any cliff. Heck on a deck, I try to avoid curbs. They don’t call be a Dizzy Blonde for nothing.**

**I am dizzy and blonde, so, yeah.

 

Two bookworms getting down and dirty

•November 21, 2016 • 21 Comments
You need to focus, People. This is not something you want to miss. Silence the voices in your head and enjoy the ride!

You need to focus, People. This is not something you want to miss. Silence the voices in your head and enjoy the ride!

 

Writers write. Readers read. Writers read. Readers write. And it’s about darned time this dizzy blonde blogger writes about something you’re going to love to read. Not this blog, but the book being featured. Well, the blog, too. Oh, heck fire, this is harder than it looks.

Give me another try. I can fake the relaxed, comfortable, and naturally alluring look. It can't be that hard.

Give me another try. I can fake the relaxed, comfortable, and naturally alluring look. It can’t be that hard.

So strap yourself in for another zany author interview.

This time, Lori Virelli from the blog Lori’s Lane, has agreed to drop in to talk about her collection of short stories in a memoir entitled Home Avenue. For the week of Thanksgiving, she’s giving it away for FREE! Thanks, Lori!

This is Lori. See what a happy writer she is?

This is Lori. See what a happy writer she is?

 

This is her memoir available on Amazon.

This is her memoir available on Amazon.

 

I read Lori’s book and here’s what I had to say after giving it 5-star review: Grab a cup of coffee or tea and curl up with this charming little book. Each of the stories are written straight from Virelli’s heart and surely will touch yours. From the smallest, quirkiest details of what makes families so, shall I say, interesting, to touching on broad themes about life, love, connections, and what it means to be human, this author adeptly taps into everyone’s life by sharing her own memories in such a poignant way.

I haven't done one of these interviews in a long time, so I'm going to have reinvent my wheel. I've already warned Lori that I'll be changing personas during the interview, just to see what works best. So just bear with me me.

Don’t tell Lori, but I haven’t done one of these interviews in a long time. She thinks I’m really good at this. But I’m going to have to reinvent my wheel. I’ll be changing personas during the interview, just to see what works best. So just bear with me.

 

Lorna, thanks so much for showcasing my book, Home Avenue. And you're idea of us both taking on the personas of bookworms sounds quite fun! I can't wait to get started.

Lorna, thanks so much for showcasing my book, Home Avenue. And your idea of us both taking on the personas of bookworms sounds quite fun! I can’t wait to get started. You’re so clever!

 

Did I say that we would BOTH be book worms? Silly me!

Did I say that we would BOTH be book worms? Silly me! Well, you’ve been busy with your 2nd book and you probably got confused. Let’s get down to business because I’m a working girl and time is money, Honey. Tell me the story behind the title of your memoir.

 

Wow. You look great. Any chance I can change my bookworm costume? No, huh? That's okay. I understand.

Wow. You look great. Any chance I can change my bookworm costume? No, huh? That’s okay. I understand. Home Avenue, is the title of one of the short stories in my memoir and also the name of the street where I grew up.

 

funny-doggy-stuff-photo-share-on-timeline1

Fascinating. I grew up, well, never mind. This is about you, not me. So, has writing a book always been a dream of yours, or is this a more recent goal?

 

Writing a book(s) has always been my dream, although what my books looked like morphed into different ideas over the years.

Writing a book(s) has always been my dream, although what my books looked like morphed into different ideas over the years. Um, Lorna? Why do you keep changing your look?

 

I’m asking the questions, here, Lori. Trust me. I’m a pro at this. I’m a real pro at many, many things. Whew! Is it warm in here? Back to the interview…Every book has a story. What’s the story behind this book?

 

Sorry, Lorna. I'll stick to script. I'm just having s dickens of a time trying to follow you. Anyway. The story behind the book. This anthology’s story takes a look at my dysfunctional family in a light-hearted fashion and with a sense of humor. Sometimes we just have to laugh at ourselves to get through life. Each tale ends on either a humorous or inspirational note.

Sorry, Lorna. I’ll stick to script. I’m just having a dickens of a time trying to follow you. Anyway. The story behind the book. This anthology’s story takes a look at my dysfunctional family in a light-hearted fashion and with a sense of humor. Sometimes we just have to laugh at ourselves to get through life. Each tale ends on either a humorous or inspirational note.

 

Hey, Lori, when you roll with me, you never know what's going to happen. I never do! So, What's something unexpected you learned from writing this book?

Hey, Lori, when you roll with me, you never know what’s going to happen. I never do! And I appreciated the humor in your book. People take themselves way too seriously. Not me, but you probably guessed that. So, speaking of unexpected (we were, right?), what’s something unexpected you learned from writing this book?

 

v

Well, nothing as surprising as  this interview! Okay. Let’s see. I let my family read it first. I was worried they might be offended. I was surprised to learn that no one had an issue with any part of the stories, and in fact, they loved them.

 

It's so uplifting to find that your family doesn't hate your work, isn't it?

It’s always a plus when your family doesn’t hate your work, isn’t it? Last question, Lori. What inspires you or lifts you up?

 

This may sound like a joke-cliché from a comedy, but pardon the pun, I’m an open book. Each morning I read and repeat affirmations for inspiration and then meditate on them. Having been raised in a pessimistic home, as you’ll read in the anthology, it’s always a challenge for me to keep a positive focus.

This may sound like a cliché from a comedy, but I’m an open book. Each morning I read and repeat affirmations for inspiration and then meditate on them. Having been raised in a pessimistic home, as you’ll read in the anthology, it’s always a challenge for me to keep a positive focus.

 

Open book! Great pun, Lori! I devour good books from great authors like you. That keeps me happy as a worm (forget clams—they can't be all that chipper).

Open book! Great pun, Lori! I devour good books from great authors like you. That keeps me happy as a worm (forget clams—they can’t be all that chipper crawling around in the muck).

 

Thank you Lorna, for inviting me for this interview to discuss my projects. I’m honored that you would host me.

Thank you Lorna, for inviting me for this interview to discuss my projects. I’m honored that you would host me.

 

II'm happy to help out a blogger buddy and author pal. Now I have to get back to this editing job I've been working on. Murdering someone else's darlings is more fun than I thought it would be.

I’m happy to help out a blogger buddy and author pal. Now, I have to get back to this editing job I’ve been working on. Murdering someone else’s darlings is more fun than I thought it would be.

 

And just so you know, Lori’s new novel is Whit’s End. It is hot off the presses (11/20/2016) and available in ebook form at Amazon for $0.99!

Two unhappily married women starving for affection from their husbands meet other men who can satisfy their hunger. Ava and Meg are married to the dysfunctional Whitaker brothers. Should they compromise their deep-rooted family values and moral integrity? One chooses to work harder on her marriage. The other opts to have an affair. Family bonds shatter. Friendships suffer. Forced to dig deep within to face ugly truths, Ava and Meg grow in ways they didn't know possible.

Two unhappily married women starving for affection from their husbands meet other men who can satisfy their hunger. Ava and Meg are married to the dysfunctional Whitaker brothers. Should they compromise their deep-rooted family values and moral integrity? One chooses to work harder on her marriage. The other opts to have an affair. Family bonds shatter. Friendships suffer. Forced to dig deep within to face ugly truths, Ava and Meg grow in ways they didn’t know possible.

 

New-Fangled Voting Machine Confuses Old-Fangled Voter

•November 7, 2016 • 14 Comments

Okay, Mom can’t find her aprons any more. She rarely cooks for herself anyway. But her phone is stuck to her wall and she has a cell phone but hates it.

My mom doesn’t like change. She’s spry for her age, which is on the “pushing it” side of “over the hill. According to her, she’s seen enough change in her life that she’s like things to stay the same from now on. I can’t fault her for that.

I love her. She’s the only parent I have. That means she’s my mom and my dad. That also means that I have to accept that she:

  • will never own a computer.
  • won’t read my books unless they’re in print because e-books aren’t real.
  • doesn’t trust dishwashers.
  • won’t throw anything away because she “might need that someday.”

You need to know these things because a few years ago her county in NYS went ahead and changed the voting  process from the old click-the-lever behemoth phone-booth-sized machines to scanned paper ballots. This threw Mom for a loop, and Mom doesn’t do loops very well. Thank goodness she got her first scare during a school budget vote.

Ah, the good old days with good old voting machines with good old levers and good old men inside them. No wonder Mom loved these machines.

When she walked in and didn’t see the bank of phone  voting booths, she almost turned around and went home. But Mom never misses a chance to vote. She’s a naturalized citizen and knows more about American history than most Americans do. She takes her role as an American Citizen and her right to vote very seriously. She understands that it’s both a right and and privilege every time she clicks that lever.

Only now she doesn’t have a lever to click.

Mom was serious enough about voting to give this new-fangled process a try. Hey, it was just a school board vote. She signed in and got her large-screen-TV-sized ballot. Then she sat down at one of the little sectioned-off areas of a table and picked up this thick pen. She saw that she had to mark the dot of the School Board Candidate she wanted and then mark “Yes” or “No” on the school budget and several other items.

She picked up the pen and dabbed the circle. Nothing. She dabbed harder. Nothing. She tried looking around, but thought that people would think she was cheating or something, so she raised her hand, hoping someone would come over and help. Luckily someone did.

It’s not may fault. I have been given faulty equipment. See this book? The pages are all floppy. I can’t work like this.

“Do you need some help?”

“Yes. I’m trying to mark my ballot and nothing is happening,” she replied. My mom blushes easily and she was blushing.

“Let’s see if we can get you another pen.” The person left and returned with another pen.

“Thank you.” Mom is very polite. The person walked away to give her privacy. Again she pushed the pen on the circle. Nothing. She tried both ends of this new pen. Nothing.

She raised her hand again. “Yes?” asked the same person.

“This still isn’t working.” My mom’s voice was getting a little pitchy now. Voting should not be this hard. It was never this hard before. She was thinking this but was too polite to say it.

“Well, let’s see what I can do.” The person took the pen from Mom’s hand, pulled off the cap and tested the pen on a scrap piece of paper. “Hmm. The pen seems to have plenty of ink.”

Mom’s mouth just dropped. She thought because this was a 21st century way of voting, that the pen must be “magic.” You know, invisible ink or press and Presto! Vote-o!

She voted, and with head hung low, she walked to the man operating the “shredder thing” (known to most of us as the vote scanner). Mom let him insert her ballot.

Introducing the 21st Century Democrogreater. It counts and shreds to insure your privacy. Or does it shred and count to insure your privacy? Either way, no one will be sure if you voted, including you!

Let’s hope she had better luck this year! Let’s hope you do, too! Make sure you vote, okay? Mom would expect nothing less of you!

That’s not my mom. She could never stand in front of a crowd and speak into a microphone like that to tell you stories or lecture to you. That’s my job.

 
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