Was featured in Time Out NY for my work on Luca Lounge.
It’s the winter that keeps on giving and last night was a first: THUNDERSNOW. As I worked in my home office, there was lightning flashes, rolling booms of thunder, sleet, hail and by this morning a foot of snow. Paquita was terrified of the storm and the building was creaking and making weird howling sounds so she ran for cover and stayed there all night. Her safe hiding spot: under the toilet.
The snow has stranded Christian in CT where he is filming episodes of “Are We There Yet?” (TBS, Wednesday nights at 9 CST/10 EST). Which, speaking of, his character “Martin” has a B-plot in an upcoming show where he’s dating an older woman. And just who is portraying the love interest? Paulina Porizkova.
He came home that night covered in glitter and in a great mood. Hmmm…not sure I want to tune in for that episode.
Nothing like having your husband canoodling with a supermodel to make you re-think your diet and exercise plan. Oof.
I may not have known what a clove of garlic is and may have had to consult the internet to confirm exactly what constitutes a stalk of celery, but I sure know how to use a drill. I used a level, calculated the exact spacing, drilled holes, inserted anchors and screws and hung these bad boys up.
In less than ten minutes. Including gathering and putting away tools and cleaning up.
Tomorrow I’m patching a hole with plaster, sanding and painting. That’s nothing.
I’m at the cabin and cooked my 2nd crock pot dish. This time a chili recipe I got from my cousin Shari’s blog (see yesterday’s “I’m Your Night Plower” entry). A few things I learned in the process:
(1) I could rake in the big bucks on “Supermarket Sweep”. I picked up everything on my list in order without needing to double back in a store that I’ve never stepped foot in before. Although I’ve never purchased things like cans of chopped tomatoes, cloves of garlic and fresh bay leaves, I instinctively knew where to find them.(2) Cloves aren’t just for smoking. The list called for two cloves of garlic. Check. It also called for three whole cloves. Cloves of what? I went in figuring my cousin Shari would know since she has seven children. You don’t keep seven humans alive without knowing such things. Sure enough, along with all the other spices, there was a bottle of whole cloves. Whole cloves are actually pretty small. They look like a really thick, brown, harder pistil of a flower.(3) A clove of garlic is just one piece of the entire bulb. So, I put in too much garlic because I thought the bulb of garlic was a clove. I didn’t put THAT much extra in, though, because peeling the pieces of garlic was annoying. And chopping them up made my eyes water and my hands still smell like an old Italian.(4) I want a garlic press. That’s something I never imagined me saying. I still want a jigsaw before a garlic press, but still: I want a garlic press so I never have to deal with mincing garlic by hand.(5) I follow the rules. The lines were long with people whose carts looked like they were cooking for the Octomom. I had about 25 or more things and they had express lines for 5, 10 and 15 items or less. I just couldn’t bring myself to get in the 15 or less line, even after seeing a guy with much more than I had do it. I simply can’t bear the idea that I’m the “some jerk”when a person with only 15 items gets in line behind me, has to wait and tells their waiting friend or family, “Some jerk got in line with like 30 things in the 15 or less line!” While my dad and I always remark about how much alike we are, this is definitely where we differ. No way would he wait in a regular line behind carts filled to the rim. No. Way.
Side note: I lost my list which I had written on official White House Situation Room note paper that I snagged during a private tour of, well, the Situation Room in the White House. I like that some hillbilly is going to find my list and think that a real White House employee, with such extraordinary stress and job responsibility, is writing down a chili recipe and shopping list instead of, you know, helping keep America safe.
Chili in a cabin surrounded by snowcapped woods is just about as Norman Rockwell picture perfect as life can get.
I woke up today with a mission: get paint, groceries to make my cousin Shari’s chili, and end my day at the cabin painting said cabin and eating said chili. I left the apartment, dragging a ticked off Chihuahua through the snow behind me while carrying 100 pounds of STUFF in a temperature more frigid than Gwyneth Paltrow.
The alley cats that live in my private car lot shot me concerned looks and slinked away, low backs, shifty eyes. I smelled like danger. I was THAT flummoxed. Car cleared of snow, warmed and loaded, I set off. Never have I tried to find a spot and parallel park after yet another snowstorm (including the 10 years I lived in Ohio), and I’ve only driven a handful of times in ten years. I quickly realized I had a better chance at finding Bin Laden than a place to park near the paint store on Steinway Street. I had left an hour later than I hoped, Paquita was whining, and I just felt FAT all bundled up in winter gear trying to program the GPS and check for blind spots…like I was someone who couldn’t bend over and tie their own shoe. Also, I realized I dumped all my change in a collection jar at home which meant I couldn’t feed the muni-meter.
“This is NOT cool. NOT cool, Universe! I just wanna RELAX! How do people LIVE in this city! No wonder I’m trying to get out!” I may have even screamed a nonsensical, “AGGHERRERHHHHH!!!”
Ask and you shall receive!
A spot miraculously appeared, the new muni-meters take credit cards but as I fished through my wallet a woman gave me her unexpired meter receipt with FORTY-FIVE minutes left on it. I went inside, got my paint and supplies and met zero traffic out of Manhattan. No, you were not slipped a roofie. I did, in fact, type that I had ZERO traffic out of Manhattan. I got to the Shop Rite in Monticello, pulled up my cousin’s blog for the ingredients and found everything I needed in a jiffy. IN and OUT in 30 minutes on a Saturday.
I get to the cabin and DOH! The driveway wasn’t plowed! I thought we had already made automatic arrangements with our plow dude, but no. There is NO place to park as an alternative and, sure I could stay at a hotel but who wants to blow money on that and have groceries go to waste? A lot of freaking out and frantic phone calls later –The groceries! The dog! Where will I go? What will I do? — I started driving around and saw a truck w/a plow attachment parked in front of a convenience store. I parked,
went inside and found a dude who looked like he might drive a plow (read: filthy, reflective coat, missing teeth and buying two packs of cigarettes).
My radar was spot on: it was his plow and it turns out he’s my neighbor. In less than ten minutes, he cleared a place for the Thunder Nugget, and I took down his info and gave him all the cash I had. (Don’t worry, if you know me, I carry little to no cash.) But now I’m worried that he knows I’m in the woods alone. So, while chopping up garlic, I had fantasies of stabbing him in the neck with the butcher knife and splashing him with the simmering crock pot full of chili.But for now, I’m here. In the cabin with my Chihuahua, paint and chili. Just when I think I want to stay holed up and write a sequel to the Unibomber’s Manifesto, the path is cleared.
Just in case: His name is Rich and he lives in a yellow house just up the road from me and I have his cell number programmed in my phone.
- On January 4th, Christian and I bought our first home together: a little one bedroom cottage in Sullivan County, about a two hour drive from NYC. Perched upon two giant boulders on a nearly four acre wooded lot, the “Rock House” is a perfect retreat for us to escape the noise of the city. (View the photo set on Flickr.)
We have room to roam and a chance to try things we haven’t been able to while in the concrete jungle. One of those things for me is using the kitchen for anything other than popping popcorn in the microwave. After seeing so many friends and family posting on Facebook about crock pots and delicious meals they were eating, I wondered what the big deal is.
I asked folks about crock pots and received TONS of advice. Apparently all you have to do is throw a bunch of stuff in a pot, let it sit there slow cooking for a while and voila! Wait? That’s it? What’s the catch? THERE IS NO CATCH? How can this BE?!?!
So other people –nearly everyone I know– love and enjoy crock pots and never told me about this magical machine designed to make meals while barely lifting a finger. What other secrets are they keeping from me? Granted, I use my oven for storage and, if I cook, it involves boxing great George Foreman. But in that case don’t I, more than anyone, need suggestions on kitchen domesticity? Come on, people, help a girl out here.
I got the pot pictured because it was the only one at Bed, Bath & Beyond and at only $30, figured it was worth a try. Today marks my first attempt at making a meal: a pot roast or boneless chuck or whatever you want to call it.
To keep my personality balanced, I listened to Metallica’s “Kill ‘Em All” while chopping up the vegetables. I also used a power drill several times today.
Lest you get too excited, note that I had to look up how much a stalk of celery was. I mean I *know* what a stalk of celery is. When I was at the grocery store I grabbed a bagged bunch of celery and thought I’ll use a stalk for the roast and the rest I can munch on and grabbed some flavored dip / spread thing. But when it came time to looking at the ingredients/directions, I found myself asking “Wait! What IS a stalk of celery?” One stem or is the whole bunch a stalk? So I looked it up. The fact that the answer existed online is of some comfort (hey, other people wondered, too) but it is a reminder to me that like dancing, and drawing, cooking just does not come naturally to me.
I forgot to look at what time it started cooking, so now I’m just guessing that it has about 5 hours to go. No delicious aromas yet, unless you count the Yankee Candle Sugar Cookie candle that’s burning.
For Christmas 2010, Christian & I went to Peru for a 10 day, adventure-filled vacation. I won’t bore you with a long travelogue (What? You don’t want to read about the intricacies of foreign bathrooms and whether hot water was available in each place? No? Okay, fine.) But let’s be honest, this mostly for me, so I will only bore you with it for as long as you allow.
After 24 hours of travel (flight to Miami, then to Lima, then to Puerto Maldonado where we got on a bus that took us to a boat that took us to the lodge!), days 1 – 4 were spent at Libertador Tambopata Eco Lodge and camping in the jungle. Lots of boat rides, treks into the jungle and spotting of wild animals like capybaras (the world’s largest rodent), caiman (alligators), boars, birds of every shape. We saw four different species of monkeys (capuchin, squirrel, tamarin and red howler) that were so abundant we hit the Monkey Load. Heh.
The more exciting thing involved a less glamorous animal: a wild boar. We came across a couple of hundred of them crossing a path in front of us, froze and watched in wonder. No problem. After it seemed they were all done crossing, we continued along holding our breath along the way. I have never smelled anything so bizarre and rancid. Our guide kept blowing his nose and hocking to try to get rid of the stench that lingered. Suddenly we realized there was another herd of boars still crossing. Again, we froze this time a boar caught sight of us and came TOWARD us. It stopped, raised its nose and wriggled its snout to get a good whiff of us as we stood as still as possible. I was in front of Christian & our guide trying to stay balanced as I was squatting with my camera aimed at the boar afraid to hit a button for fear that the boar would see me moving. I was having a staring contest with a wild boar while a couple of hundred of its buddies crossed our path!
It then made a few more steps to get CLOSER to us and was joined by another pal. Oh no! They’re on to us. But as soon as the last boar crossed, the two watch pigs departed. Coast clear, we all burst into relieved laughter. “We never discussed what we should do in this situation!” I guffawed. Our guide then gave us a rundown on what to do should we come across any other beasts like pumas.
We camped in the jungle one night at least 9 hours away from the nearest town. Our site was monitored by six vultures and two macaws that were tending to a nest. This would have been fun in a scary way but ended up being horribly terrifying because of an INTENSE, ALL NIGHT thunderstorm that was so dangerously close. Our crew of four included a boat driver who had to sleep on the boat to make sure it didn’t wash away. Our guide, cook and “errand dude” for lack of a better description all stayed in one tent while Christian & I stayed in another. I purposefully typed “stayed” instead of “slept” because sleep was nearly impossible. The lightning was so persistent it was like a lantern was blazing in our tent and the sound of breaking trees, thunder and cracks of lightning were so close that we all wondered if we’d make it through the night. It was so scary that no one said a word. Have you ever read about how in crazy plane situations witnesses will recount how passengers were strangely calm and very quiet? It was like that. There are no words. Christian & I know that no one will ever understand the fear or the surreal danger but we know. We stared at each other in the morning with an all knowing look and then got dressed for breakfast.
Days 4 – 7 were spent in Cusco & a train ride / hike up to Machu Picchu. There’s not much I can say to adequately sum up these two places other than fun and beautiful, respectively. Cusco was decked out for Christmas and people were in great spirits. They love their nativity scenes there! The views of city lights against the mountain range was awesome. We toured Le Catedral and the Museo Inka, shopped at the local market which had such nasty stuff for sale (a bowl of raw cow mouths, anyone?) that it put Chinatown to shame and ate a lot, happy to be back in civilization with electricity and a phone line. I was disheartened by the hundreds of stray dogs but after a few days it was clear the dogs weren’t like regular dogs. They had no interest in humans, were immune to touch and were doing just fine thankyouverymuch. Still, I would have liked to have seen more of them with green collars which the city puts on to indicate they’ve been fixed.
Then we took a train ride to Machu Picchu (we would have loved to do the full hike, but we really wanted to do the jungle and Lake Titicaca so time wouldn’t allow). Every other second was a picture worthy moment. Lush farms, rivers and streams, animals everywhere, women carrying bundles of harvest on their backs (one had a puppy nipping at her heels for crying out loud!), sheep frolicking, just too much beauty in one place it isn’t fair. We hiked up to the top of Machu Picchu in the rain but within 15 minutes the clouds parted and the sun came out. We really lucked out. Pictures don’t do it justice but, well, we took lots of pics anyway. Llamas were in charge of trimming the grass and I loved being near them even if they could have cared less about me.
Days 7 – 10 were in Puno & tours of the islands on Lake Titicaca which included visiting Isla de los Uros (the famous floating islands made of reeds) and staying with a family on Isla Amantani. The latter was a really unique experience that just puts in to perspective how different our lives are. Sure, you can see that people dress and speak differently, that poverty is the norm and hard work is a must. That’s a given. But we totally understand why Angelina Jolie is always scooping up kids…it’s very hard to not fall in love with them and want to give them more opportunity. But to live with them made us stop having so much white guilt and feeling like they’re living beneath their means and appreciate that they are blessed with such wonderful families, communities and togetherness that we’ll never have. They are filled with joy and love.
Lucia and her brother William entertained us while their mother and grandmother cooked for us. All six of us were in their one room kitchen/living/dining room while their lamb Ñeñe looked on from their patio. They dressed us in traditional garb and took us to a dance where we laughed and sweat and carried on like kids.
We met some really nice people from around the world, hiked a mountain (Pachatata aka “Father Earth”), ate lots of new foods like alpaca and cuy (guinea pig), and I managed to read two books and start a third on my Kindle. So I definitely got every ounce of pleasure and relaxation out of my 11 days. Getting upgraded to first class both to/from Lima/NYC sure helped. I wish I knew the magical reason we were upgraded (TWICE!) but the mystery is unsolved.
Photos arranged in order of our trip. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kambricrews/sets/72157625701155196/
Signed the 92Y Tribeca as a client with Ballyhoo Promotions. I will oversee booking of comedy shows and assist with marketing and promotion.
Opened a newly re-vamped performance space called Luca Lounge with Carol Hartsell. We will book, produce and promote two shows a night every Sunday through Thursday.
- As a teen, Jason Buhrmester created skateboard and punk rock zines with names like “Slappy” and “Mullethead Illustrated” as a way of escaping the confines of his small hometown in rustbelt Illinois. Today, the journalist, editor and novelist is adding screenwriter to his resume by transforming his book “Black Dogs: The Possibly True Story of Classic Rock’s Greatest Robbery” into a film. It’s a fictionalized account of a real life robbery in which Led Zeppelin lost $203,000 in cash while on tour in 1973, just a month after Buhrmester was born.
Your hometown of Kankakee, Illinois was rated the worst place to live by “The Places Rated Almanac”. Was it really that bad?I hated it the minute I was born. You couldn’t keep me there. If I could get to the train or get hold of a car –even illegally– I was going. I actually drove to Chicago at fourteen in a friend’s brother’s car. I felt like I was meant to born somewhere else. I never bought yearbook, went to prom, or joined a club. I thought, “Why make friends? You’re leaving here and never coming back. Don’t even bother meeting these people.”
How did growing up in such an awful town influence you?I wanted to be connected to something outside of Kankakee. I had friends in Chicago who were into the same kind of punk rock music that I was. So every weekend I was there skateboarding, going to shows, and meeting girls.
But I was a high school kid and there were times I had to be home. I think that’s what influenced my desire to get into journalism. I would buy mail order records from small punk rock bands. They would send it to me with a note and I’d write them back. I was interviewing bands from the time I was 16 or 17. There was no publicist–it was me going up to them and asking if I could get an interview. I would write scene reports and record reviews for punk rock magazines and they’d send me the magazines. I was isolated but there were other people out there and I could reach them somehow.
Why did you gravitate toward writing instead of forming your own band?It was really all I had to offer. I couldn’t draw. I could play guitar a little bit but there was no one in my town to form a band with and no one that was into the stuff I was. What could I do? The only thing I had that I had any sort of natural ability was writing.
You were a successful editor of Inked Magazine, so why quit to write a book?I remember being at a dinner and a guy said, “I just wrote a novel and it was optioned for a movie.” I was so angry with myself. Why hadn’t I done that? This guy was my age! I have connections, and I work with publicists and publishers. I wasted so much time playing fucking video games! It was like someone had beaten me to discovering America. I quit my job maybe three months after that and started writing. I was that pissed off about it.
Did you have a movie in mind then?
Not really. I thought it would be fun to see what would happen. Even if it just sits in a drawer, I wrote a book. I wanted to see if I could finish it. I knew the idea was at least good, so why not?
Did it get lonely after working in buzzing magazine offices for so long?I only have hobbies that seem to isolate me. I love playing guitar by myself. I love boxing; I can do that by myself. I love skateboarding; I do that by myself. I have no coach. There’s no team; there’s no uniform. Either I do it or I don’t do it. I think all my pursuits in life involve me sitting alone, so I don’t have to listen to somebody else. And when I’m writing, I’m sitting alone.
How does your wife feel about that?She’s used to it–and she’s into her own things. We’re one of those couples who can be in two separate rooms of the apartment for a day and not talk. She’s used to the ebb and flow where I’ll be really panicked and work seven days a week and cancel any plans. You guys go have fun and have a picnic in the park. I’ll be at home trying the best I can. Then there’ll be a week where I finally crack and get cabin fever and am just going out drinking every night and not even looking at a computer.
Writing the book must have been a true labor of love. How did you make the switch from journalist and editor to fiction writer?Several literary agents told me I had a great idea, but nobody would represent me until the book was finished. I guess the book companies learned if somebody gets a check based on an idea, they just fucking disappear. So it became my job to make enough money so I could focus on finishing it. I had the idea but didn’t have the time, so I switched to freelance writing. I’d save enough money so I didn’t have to worry about paying rent for three months. For two months I did nothing but work on my book. That was my 9 to 5 job. I’d get up, sit at the desk and try to write something. When my bank account started going down again, I’d go out and hustle for freelance work and build my savings a bit.
You must have had a pretty rad book tour?If you thought there’s no money in magazines, there is no money in books. Unless you’re a huge author, there is no book tour. In fact, there is no book launch party! The publishers don’t do anything for you. I saved some freelance checks and quickly realized that my meager little budget was bigger than theirs. I fell back on my punk rock DIY roots: “I’ll do this myself.” I did my own publicity, shot a book trailer to post on YouTube, set up readings, threw a launch party, everything. People are pretty receptive especially if you kick at their door. It’s simple logic like weightlifting. Pick up the weight or don’t.
The publisher would call me and say, “Hey, the book’s doing really well!” Yeah, because my wife and I were killing ourselves!
How do you feel about reviews?I’ve interviewed a billion musicians and they bitch about the negative reviews but don’t complain abut the good reviews. My logic has always been that you can’t pick and choose. Either reviews have validity totally or they have no validity. Which is it? So I just didn’t care. A good review to me has about the same weight as a negative one which is none. You just gotta do your thing.
What if the movie flops?I’ll just write something else. I’m like a cockroach; I’ll just keep coming back.
This week started out with Christian and I acting like Ward and June Cleaver. Christian woke up early (?) to head into his Manhattan office (?!) to work while I stayed home (!), went to the grocery store (???) and made dinner (#$@&*!!!!). If I didn’t know better, I’d say these were Signs of the Apocalypse.
In reality, Christian’s office is just a temporary home this week as he ramps up to film a pilot for a cable TV network this Thursday. It’s a game show he’s been working on for over two years and suddenly it feels like it’s being whipped together in a week. I’m scared and excited for him, but mostly scared. You give birth to these things and then your baby is thrust into the care of another person. Hopefully the nannies don’t drop the baby on its head.
And while I did stay home, it was to Skype with my editor and work on my memoir. The cooking part came because, well, I was famished. I ran a few miles as part of training for the next half marathon I’m running and needed some nourishment in a bad way. On the way home I grabbed some groceries and the mail which contained a new letter from My Jailed Deaf Dad. He needs dentures like I need oxygen but he says the prison dentist won’t assist. So, I spent a good two hours researching prison rules, case law, and a dentist in Huntsville, Texas who makes “house” calls.
So, yeah, I suppose we are the 21st Century’s version of the Cleavers, if June had a homicidal father in jail with missing and rotten teeth.
Our cast has an abundance of Eddie Haskells, but our dog and rabbit will have to count as Wally and the Beav.
The best part of posting a clip of nude ukulele players? Getting an email from a friend saying she works with one of them. She sees him clothed. At work. Had no idea about this, erm, side of him. Gah!
I most certainly will remained clothed when I throw my name into the hat tomorrow night at The Moth held at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. The theme is Inspired so naturally I am going to tell a story about David Lee Roth if they draw my name. There’s always a part of me that hopes they won’t. It’s nerve wracking, especially so when it’s a new story such as this one that I’ve never said aloud before. Regardless of how tomorrow night pans out, I WILL tell the story on Saturday night at The Creek & the Cave in Long Island City. The free show starts at 8:00.
Now it’s off to write, write, write at an outdoor on this beautiful September day.
Life is good, but not so good that clothes shouldn’t be required.
We all knew the day would happen when 9/11 became uncomfortable self promotion day. “Sorry for your loss, but can you come out to my comedy show at Chuckle Hut? Hey, I’m exercising my freedom of speech! That’s very American!” But an interactive naked ukulele cabaret seems too soon. (Link SFW)
What exactly might one expect at a naked ukulele cabaret? Check out the clip below which is also safe for work, I suppose, but my eyes. MY EYES!!!
I have a confession to make: I’m closing in on the big 4-0. Yes, I know I’ve been telling many of you that I was 40 for a few years now. I lied. Forgive me. Now that we’ve gotten past that, let’s move on to the subject of this post. I’m re-vamping my “Things To Do Before I Die” list. Let me refresh your memory from an old post…
I was 17 and a senior in high school when I got hitched and was 23 years old when my divorce from the sailor was finalized. After six years masquerading as a Midwestern housewife, I was free to be Me. Trouble was, the definition of “Me” had yet to be determined. I decided this huge upheaval of my life would not be for naught. I would reclaim my lost youth by creating a list oh-so-creatively titled “Things To Do Before I Die.” However, I never had a plan on how I would accomplish a single thing.
Ten years later, during a move to a new apartment in New York City, I purged lots of old journals, letters and pictures and came across this list. I was tempted to throw it out; some of my items were downright embarrassing. “Be serenaded.” Really? I assure you, I didn’t want that then, and I most definitely don’t want it now.* I clearly wanted to be loved.
In looking closer, though, I was pretty astounded at how earnest and mundane most of the items were. Ride a train, eat sushi, see a parade — check, check, check.
Growing up in the woods, being responsible for myself, working full time at a very young age, I simply hadn’t done anything. See a Broadway play, learn to golf, vote, ride the subway, have my hair styled, handcraft pottery, learn to bike, go on a cruise, picnic, ice skate. Check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check.
A week to the day the auction ended in which I sold my memoir to Random House, I remembered my List. I dug out the journal and scoured the numbered items and found:
8. Write my autobiography.
Seeing it written so plainly in my earnest naivete — as though writing a book were as simple as riding a train, eating sushi, or seeing a parade — makes me marvel at one’s ability to get things done. Other “never in a million years would this ever happen to me” stuff I listed did, in fact, happen: walk the red carpet, attend a movie premiere, and be self employed.
I’m proud of having broken free and carving out a pretty interesting, varied life for myself. That said, there is still quite a bit of simple stuff on my list I have yet to accomplish. There is no other time like now to “get busy living or get busy dying”. Thoughts DO become things and so I want to write a new list of things to do. Below are some to get me started:
Ride on the Orient Express.
Master the ukulele.
Compose a song.
Get a pedicure.
Get a massage.
Drive across the U.S.
Build a snowman.
Participate in a rally.
Ride a camel.
See the Grand Canyon.
Go sled riding.
I’d love to know what’s on YOUR list and input on what should be on mine.
*Was “serenaded” to by my husband on our 4th wedding anniversary. He sang “Any Way You Want It” by Journey during karaoke at Sunswick in Astoria at my behest. Now THAT is more my speed.
What a difference a few years makes. The first time I brought Christian down to visit my mom at her home in Magnolia, Texas, she made us dinner. The appetizer was chips & queso followed by a main course of cheese fudge. Why, yes, that IS a two course meal made entirely of cheese. Well, not if you count the chips which served merely as a vessel with which to ingest MORE CHEESE.
This visit, she was on the South Beach diet and prepared a healthy breakfast of veggies and eggs and ate big, delicious salads in downtown Montgomery. She’s lost a few pounds already and I hope she’ll hop on the treadmill soon so we can do a 5K the next time I see her. (Heck, I hope *I* can do a 5K. My right knee and both feet have been troubling me since running the half marathon.) Either way, kudos to her for taking the first step towards getting healthier.
Cheese lover, but have limits. Cheese fudge pushed them.
Super excited to be working with this guy. Yeah, THAT guy! His name is David Koechner (pronounced Kek-ner) and he’s been in dozens of great films & TV shows. Check out his client page on Ballyhoo Promotions to learn more about his impressive list of credits. Also, follow him on Twitter @DavidKoechner and/or join his fan page on Facebook if that’s your sort of thing.
When bowling, Christian does this little stutter step move every single time. It gets funnier with each new turn. He cannot bowl without doing it. He tried and failed to do so a few times after my mom and I were in hysterics and teasing him.
My nieces and sister-in-law gave me this “medal” and awesome notes of encouragement and congratulations on finishing my 1st half marathon.
I’ve been laid up with extensor tendinitis since last Wednesday & have been missing running. Their notes made me miss it even more. I hope to get back there soon and earn another “medal” just for them!
I’ll Stick to Perrier. See if I care!
— Water trough in front of Rawhide, a rough & tumble, leather & Levis gay bar on 14th Street in Chelsea.
My spontaneous purchase of popsicle makers resulted in this yummy treat. Sugar free chocolate pudding pops made with 1% milk and chopped up chunks of bananas and strawberries = DELICIOUSNESS WITHOUT GUILT!
An all AC/DC station for free on iTunes radio? Well, hello, Utopia.
- Now that we have a car (!!!!) we can do things like shop for large items without concern if we can physically carry them home. We took the Thunder Nugget out for a spin and filled him with things from Bed Bath & Beyond, a magical place where I believe I am a master chef and homemaker.The first set of sliding doors opened and I grabbed a bag of 100 tea light candles from a display and tossed them into the shopping cart. I WASN’T EVEN IN THE STORE. The second set of sliding doors opened and I was bedazzled. WHERE DO I BEGIN!?!? Christian had the same wild-eyed look. It was like we had broken into Santa’s Workshop.“Okay, we need to calm down,” he panted. “Let’s look at our list.”Right! Our list! We smartly and thankfully made one:— Trash Can (SimpleHuman and worth every penny! Who knew a garbage could be improved upon and so very awesome?!)— Shower Head (Installed in a jiffy by yours truly)— Toilet Seat (Also installed by yours truly. No photo. Did you really want one?)This cream pitcher turned vase and Ped Egg were things I did not need but suddenly felt I MUST HAVE THEM! They are mine now. So are these popsicle makers, a bajillion AA batteries, felt pads for the bottom of chairs, Brita filters, a soap dispenser and tons of other stuff that I simply could NOT leave behind in the store.Not everything is irresistible. It is unlikely I will shake my way to firm & fabulous arms despite what the box tells me.$375 later, the Thunder Nugget was filled with STUFF. We didn’t even need to put the back seats down, but we did because we CAN! After a quick and delicious lunch at Jackson Hole Diner f/k/a The Air Line Diner, we were home and unpacking our new “toys.” I was gleeful and inspired to make sugar free pudding pops with chunks of bananas and strawberries with my new popsicle makers. Domesticity is fun again.
The Ped Egg? It’s LEGIT. No matter who you are, if I draw your name in Secret Santa this year, you will receive this.
I just ran 13.1 miles!I feel pretty good, physically, and like a million bucks, mentally. My morning didn’t start well. We drove our new car — my first time ever riding in it! — and parking was already full. We knew we should have left sooner, but whatcha gonna do. So, we drove around looking for street parking which was harder than it should have been. All the street closings and pressure to find a spot made us go the WRONG way on a freeway exit ramp! GAH! Cars were flying towards us honking, trying not to have a head on collision. Luckily it was 6:30 AM on a Saturday and traffic was light. We managed to turn around, find a spot and high tail it to the starting line.Being late and shaken up, we didn’t get to stretch or buy bananas. That said, it went well. It was hot & humid to be sure, but there was a nice breeze in some spots. I stopped at every water station as recommended by a few articles I read for 1st time half-marathoners. My shoes were SOAKED by the end so my feet felt mushy & gross. It wasn’t painful, just a distraction.The best part was seeing all the new sites of Flushing Meadow Park where much of the race was held. (Photo set here.) I ran past the Unisphere, an Aquatic Center, the Queens Zoo, Citi Field, Arthur Ashe Stadium and lots of lovely marsh land. Who knew it was all down the street from me?
I came in 2435th place overall and 115th in my age/gender group. Finished in 2:20:22 at a 10:43 pace. Christian did well, too. Came in 999th place overall and finished in 1:56:56 at a 8:56 pace.
Here are the stats for you running nerds:
Distance: 13.1 Miles, 21.1 Kilometers
Date/Time: July 24, 2010, 7:00 AM
Location: Flushing Meadow, NYC
Weather: 86 degrees, 63% humidity, wind 12 mph
We bought a car! It’s my first one in 10 years since giving up my darling and beloved Cabrio. For Christian, this is his very FIRST car EVER. Crazy, huh?
Memorial Day has come and gone. I was *supposed* to be in Los Angeles running a half marathon with my cousin’s wife and her brother. Instead I spent it moping around my NYC apartment wishing I were there. They ran it without me and did quite well. I’m so proud of her and her incredible transformation. Since October ’08 to date she’s gone from a 213 pound woman who couldn’t walk a mile to a woman who is fit and can run a half marathon!
I was so frustrated and disappointed to not be there to see her cross the finish line and, damn it, I wanted to cross it, too. Why wasn’t I there, you ask? Because I’ve let work take over my life. I feel at the fed up point she did back in ’08 when she said, “Enough. I’ve had enough.”
No, I don’t have weight to lose and, yes, I already run (I ran 10.75 miles today, in fact), but the small things in life are passing me by. I am, by nature, a workaholic. I’ve actually had days when I never saw the sun because my office is in the basement and I don’t come up for air. I haven’t seen my dad in 3 yrs, for crying out loud.
Enough. I’ve had enough. It’s time for a change.
It’s time for my annual free Oscar watch party at Comix and I came up with the 1st drink name called “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire Gin & Tonic”. My pal Julie Reed suggested “The Blind Sidecar” reminding me why this is our favorite time of year.
There will be $5 drafts, $6 bottled beer, $7 well drinks and $18 draft beer pitchers along with those fun specialty cocktails and food specials like:
Lord of the Wings
You’ll have the newly revamped Copper Room and the Comix Theatre to enjoy with big flat screen TVs showing nothing but the Oscars. They’ll have ballots for sale with chances to win lots of great prize packages given out during commercial breaks. Even if you show up late, you won’t be out of the running to go home with a prize.
Brush up on your trivia, too, for even MORE chances to win.
Doors open at 6:30 and seating is first come, first serve for those who have RSVPd.
Doors will open to the general public once the Oscars begin at 8:00 PM.
Everyone is welcome, so invite anyone and everyone who loves the movies!
**Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and number of party in attendance **
And on the 7th anniversary, Christian shall urinate while talking on the phone with me.
The upside: he was in the dressing room on the set of a new sitcom he’s on.
This morning I went to my normal Sunday deli, my regular deli being closed on the Seventh Day. Back home, I settled into my leather recliner, newspaper in one hand, homemade Deaf Hope coffee mug filled to the brim in the other. The coffee had more half & half than I would like, but whatever. Then I tasted it. Blech. The cream was sour. So I dumped the coffee and waited an hour and a half for the corner cafe to open up.
Cafe el Maya is a new little mom and pop operation and serve up delicious tacos and burritos. They’ve been advertising breakfast and I loved the idea of supporting them. I was the only customer so sat down at a big table and requested a cup of coffee with a little half and half. What I got was a bowl of half and half with a splash of coffee. I *wish* I were exaggerating. I was a little embarrassed to ask for it to be fixed — I try not to be a high maintenance customer, especially in a little shop like this, but I am a regular and, well, I was jonesing for java. It took three tries but finally I got a steaming cup of delicious coffee while I waited for my ham, cheese and onion omelette. What came out was a plate of thin, fried egg thing with no ham, no cheese, no onions and two slices of dry white toast. No butter or jam. After the frustrating coffee exchange, I just didn’t have it in me to send it back and *hope* they’d get it right. I was so hungry and in need of coffee that I felt exceptionally angry and helpless that I couldn’t just get a simple, no frills order.
I finished my coffee, left the plate of food untouched except for the one bite I took to see if maybe there was ham, cheese & onion hidden in the eggs that I just couldn’t see, paid the $5 bill and walked to Panera. At least there, I knew I could get coffee.
I just missed Panera’s breakfast so wasn’t able to get an egg souffle but no matter, there were tons of other tasty choices. There was plenty of coffee, served however I liked, reasonably priced and served quickly. Panera was packed full of happy looking people, laughing, chatting or using the free WiFi. As much as I hate the homogenization of America and my little area of Astoria, Queens, I was thanking God for this chain restaurant for getting everything right. And it seemed like every other person in Astoria had already figured it out. I suppose that’s why chains exist and take over the quaint towns of the nation, but it makes me sad. I will never give Cafe el Maya another chance except for the 2:00 AM $2 chicken taco. They do get those right. Or do they? It could be that I’m just too drunk to care.
I’m a sell out. A sated, full, caffeinated sell out.
Going to Subway for lunch and Applebees for dinner and Regal Cinemas for my entertainment.
Due to the failed bombing attempt of a Delta plan flying into Detroit, the TSA won’t let you stand, retrieve personal items, use the restroom, or even read a book for the last hour of flights now. That means on a 5 hour flight terrorists will have only 4 measly hours to work with.
Gosh, how will they ever find the time?
The past few weeks I’ve been lax about going the the gym, opting instead for burgers & beer & friends. But today I went and ran a 10K in 68.52 minutes. It felt GREAT! I know it should be a priority for me but when work calls, running is the first thing that gets shoved to the side.And work has been running me ragged. One thing I’m excited about is further movement on the “Life’s Tough. Laugh More.” ad campaign I developed three years ago. It’s finally seeing more action than just the sole TV commercial that aired last year. (Click here to watch. I wrote, directed & appeared in it, but wish we had a 30 second spot instead of the 60 sec. spots Time Warner gave us). I was able to get an amazing deal on as at a PRIME location in the NYC subway system (the N/R/W stops at the corner of 49th & 7th Avenue) and in the mall at South Street Seaport. So I got photographer/designer guru Kirill to shoot some spots with Scott Ramsey (my BFF & Tex in the City partner) and Ophira Eisenberg. I have two more shoots up my sleeve but since we’ll have a FOUR month presence, I have some time to work those out. Facebook users can check out a few of the behind the scenes shots taken at the shoot here on our Fan Page. I can’t wait to see what hoodlum New Yorkers draw on their faces! HA!Then there’s the upcoming Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival for which I am helping publicize. All the famous celeb chefs have sold out their shows, of course, so I’m working to help bring attention to Alicia Silverstone‘s demonstration. She is coming to Comix Oct 10th to showcase recipes from her first cookbook “The Kind Diet.” Tickets & info here: http://tinyurl.com/nt3kyuI’m still plugging away on my book (I’m in the midst of doing an annotated scene list so my editor can wrap his head around the whole thing), we had a road trip to Boston for a wedding, my mom is coming for a visit in October as is an old high school friend and Tex in the City is resuming its First Friday Roundups beginning September 4th. Phew! My head spins. Now you see why it’s so easy to beg off the gym. But man I do feel better, less stressed and happier when I’m at my fittest. I’m not 20 any more so it’s easy for fatigue and bad eating habits to show up on my face and butt.Sometimes I wish I could check myself into “rehab” so I’ll take care of myself. There’s got to be a better way!
Happy anniversary to me! Christian was on Olbermann and gave me a shout out at the very end. Awww! Awesome and sweet!
I am truly honored to have been invited as the Keynote Speaker when DeafHope presents their 8th Annual Tea Party “Defying Gravity” in Livermore, California. The tea party is a fundraiser to support direct services for abused Deaf women and their children at DeafHope. I will read or tell a story or something (guess I’d better get cracking on that) along with Mistress of Ceremonies and President of the National Association of the Deaf Bobbie Beth Scoggins and this year’s DeafHope Trailblazer Award Recipient, Marlee Matlin.
The September 26, 2009 event includes delicious food by the Food Divas catering and tea with a free mug made by Hildy Licht and a silent auction.
The tickets are $75.00 per person and address and directions will be sent to you after your payment. You may pay via Paypal (link and info on their site, here) or send check payable to DeafHope to following address:
470 27th Street
Oakland, CA 94612
One last thing…on DeafHope’s site, they have a banner that rotates various photos of people and their completion of a sentence that begins “When violence against women stops…”
Mine will be: When violence against women stops, I will ride the subway alone after 11:00 PM.
Seven years ago, I was hanging out with a “B” as in “boy” -illionaire till the wee hours of the morning. At one point he grabbed my hand and deliciously whispered into my ear, “Kambri, when you live in my world, you can do anything you want.”
Indeed, in his world, you can.
At the same time, 1,542 miles away, Dad was stabbing Gloria.
I spent the morning of my 38th birthday perched on my fire escape like I was in the balcony of a theater.
Not quite 5:00 AM, the sun was making its rise to my right. The Chrysler and Empire State Buildings were still shadows to my left. Their lights were out and the sun was not high enough to make them glisten.
Below me, drunken club goers shouted in Spanish, threw punches and bled on the sidewalk. Bouncers from the corner Latin dance club swarmed to the scene. With lightening speed, they shoved half of the warring factions into a compact car that squealed its tires through a red light.
This is New York City Masterpiece Theatre at its rawest.
I hadn’t slept in nearly 24 hours, but I was happy.
Pass the popcorn, please.
Tired and happy.
Click the photo to see the answer inside of this year’s handmade card sent to me by Dad for my birthday. What a treat to see it in my mailbox today. He never fails to crack me up. (In case you can’t see the details too well, the front has a square panel cut out, revealing what looks to be buttocks.)
Save over 55% on tickets to the hilarious musical “Toxic Avenger” with the discount code: TOBALLY5 More info here: http://tinyurl.com/nhlg5x
I went to wish someone a happy birthday on Facebook and saw his status that said my grandma is on her death bed.
I didn’t know.
I didn’t leave a note. What was I going to say? “Yay, happy birthday, my grandma will soon be dead but, hey, you made it another year. Yippee!”
My brother didn’t know either. Well…he does now. Life in the digital age is strange new territory. The internet has made keeping in touch easier but the social etiquette of things isn’t all laid out nice and neat. I think it’s safe to say, though, immediate family should be informed before a status update. Or maybe Twittering an actual death is the best, most modern way of spreading the news. It worked for David Carradine.
So, now I have the task of telling my dad that his mother might be dead very soon. She’s 92 so it’s not like it’s not been a long time coming, but he’s been asking about her a lot lately. Not because he’s worried about her so much. He’s more interested in protecting the furniture he made her and other material things. He has nothing and so he broods and worries and frets and boils over and hems and haws and…well…you get the picture. He’s got TIME on his HANDS.
I worry that when she does pass, he will enlist me with another laundry list of To Dos. Ask about this, make sure about that. Well, guess what, Dad? If you weren’t in jail, you could do this yourself because I really don’t care about *things*. I’ve shed myself of house and home and junk more times than I can count. I like being portable. I don’t want cars or furniture or stuff.
But…he has no advocate. No one is listening to him and that’s a big bugga boo for him for so long. To not be heard. So, if he needs help in being heard, I’m the only one here to give that to him.
And I will.
And I’m not sure why.
Here’s a nice write-up by the lovely and talented Joanna Parson. In it she reviews her “Happy Hour Salon,” a show that features folks working on new works of all sorts. I read from a chapter I was writing for my memoir and she had lovely/funny things to say about my piece.
Anyway, fun show. Check it out sometime.
For anyone who is writing or thinking of writing their memoir, here is a great essay. The whole site is an excellent resource as is NAMW.org.If 2 people disagree about a conversation yesterday, how can we agree about the details of a whole life? It’s an important puzzle for every memoir writer.
I feel like I’m on a “This is Your Life” tour! Having a whirlwind week in Texas with Christian who’s here touring with his DVD “Au Contraire!” We hit Austin Monday, did radio there yesterday, then he performed at the Alamo Draft House. But not before we had a great dinner with some of my long lost high school friends and a Tex in the City pal. I’m seeing most of them again very soon when we return to Texas for my birfday. But the show was good, decent crowd for a Tuesday at a non-comedy venue. It’s actually a movie theater so the setting made for not ideal lighting and sound for comedy but it was great nonetheless.
Speaking of Tex in the City, this Friday is the last First Friday Roundup at Comix. We’re taking July and August off but we’ll resume in September. We’ve already raised loads of cash that will go towards helping Texas theater students come to NYC. More on that later but it’s a dream project of mine and Scott Ramsey‘s and how easily it came to be makes us know we’re doing the right thing. I love Scott so much and doing this with him has warmed the cockles of my heart.So, back to the tour. We were on The 950 radio this morning talking shop with Outlaw Dave. That was fun. Tonight we’re at the Improv where Christian will headline in front of a pretty large crowd, I think, which includes my mom and a bunch of friends from Ft. Worth (where I attended high school) and Montgomery where I grew up. Then we have to leave at 2:15 in the morning. IN THE MORNING!? To drive to Dallas for morning radio on KZPS 92.5. Oh, Christian pre-taped a segment for Dallas radio with a guy I graduated with. Will have to find the name of the show (some alternative rock show?) but while Christian was getting interviewed we all figured out the connection and now I’m Facebook friends with him. Fun.The Dallas show is the only dicey one on the tour. At 10:30 on a Thursday night it’s a tough spot and, on top of it, the club has a FREE show beforehand. Arrrgh. Hard to compete but hopefully there will be at least 30 people – that’ll make it fun and goofy. Some of those folks will be high school friends, too, but my camera is FULL. Bring cameras, pleeeease? All of us are meeting up for dinner beforehand so we’ll probably be giddy and tipsy.No time to visit Dad in the clink, unfortunately, but at least I’ll get some laughs with Mom tonight. Thanks to everyone who bought tickets and sent notes of support. Hope to see you soon somewhere out there.
I’m not as confident as the four panelists for the NY Post –one of whom was Christian– who all picked Adam Lambert to win. But I will be watching tonight and I’m kind of happy all my favorite shows are ending for the season. I really have too much going on to be wrapped up in Toddlers, Tiaras, Idols, and Survivors.
TMZ caught some video of me, J@mie Kennedy and Jennifer L0ve Hew1tt going to a TV show yesterday. Eek. Glad they couldn’t see MY bald spot from my cancer surgery. But I guess they weren’t really interested in me. Heh. But why does TMZ or any celeb gossip have to be mired in such catty negativity? I’ve never understood that since to really get good scoop, you have to have the trust of the celebs and their reps.
Anyway, press went really well, Jamie was a trooper and the shows were packed. Jennifer was a dutiful girlfriend and sold merchandise for Jamie after the show. Ah, yes, I remember those days. I miss being able to travel with Christian and help him after shows. But I WILL get to do that as part of his “Au Contraire!” tour when it swings through Texas in a couple of weeks. Check out his calendar for dates and times which also include his appearances at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival!
Squeeeee! Christian Finnegan’s new one hour of comedy dubbed “Au Contraire!” is on sale at iTunes.com!
Look at how funny Paquita was on this episode of “Jokespirations,” a series of interviews with Christian as “Rolly Chedwick” interviewing the inspirations to his jokes. All the episodes will be on his DVD “Au Contraire!” in stores May 12th.
My husband Christian Finnegan will be kicking off his tour for his DVD “Au Contraire!” soon and there are three Texas dates. The Dallas one seems lame and odd (10:30 on a Thursday night at Hyenas…Hyenas? Really?), but it’s better than NOT having a Dallas date, I guess. Anyway, I’ve copied & pasted the info I have so far:
06/02/09 Austin, TX Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (Lake Creek)
Time: 8:00pm. Admission: $15.00. Box office: 512.219.5408.
06/03/09 Houston, TX The Houston Improv
Time: 8:00pm. Admission: $15.00. Box office: 713.333.8800.
06/04/09 Dallas, TX Hyena’s Comedy Club
Time: 10:30pm. Box office: 214.823.5233.
http://www.hyenascomedynightclub.com/Dallas/hyenas-dallas.htmlI hope to see y’all there!
Yippee! I’m so excited for Christian at his Entertainment Weekly review giving him a “B”. Of course, the review is of his Comedy Central special which is an edited down version of his full hour set.
And I just set the DVR to record CHRISTIAN FINNEGAN: AU CONTRAIRE! on Comedy Central Fri, May 8 @ 11:00PM EST. Psyched to see it on the TVGuide.
Ben Bailey just dropped by Comix to shoot a promo for his upcoming headlining appearance on May 29 & 30. Does this disqualify me from being a contestant on “Cash Cab”?
Janeane Garofalo & I will be out & about tomorrow. First stop is 101.9 RXP with special musical guests The Walkmen. I’m hoping I can charm them out of free tickets for their show tomorrow night at Webster Hall.