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    Lost & Found

    I seriously don’t understand why people hate LaGuardia Airport so much. I had another amazing travel day with them. One of, gosh, a hundred or so over the last few years. Got there in 10 minutes, got through security and was sitting at my gate 5 minutes later. Along the way, I heard “good morning” a few people and an offer for assistance by two others. Sure, the place could use an update for outlets and added bathrooms, but really, how long are you there? My flights are almost always on time or early, too. Haters gonna hate.

    I made it to Green Bay, WI and was greeted by a lovely lady with the Fox Cities Book Festival. Good grief Midwesterners are seriously the nicest people on earth. Well, maybe second to the Irish, but it’s a tight race. If you’re in the Appleton, WI area, I’ll be giving a presentation tomorrow and some entertainment at Friday evening’s Mix & Mingle.

    While on a layover at O’Hare, I lost a new tube of lip gloss, but I found Captain Kangaroo. He wears glasses now and enjoys a pint of beer at 11:30 AM. Good for him!

    Captain Kangaroo

     

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    My Fool’s Day

    Turning 41 on a Tuesday can be pretty blah. If you looked at our day on paper, it probably was.

    We slept till 10:30 and in between the rush of showering, dog walking, coffee and breakfast, I gave Christian (the birthday boy) his gifts:

    1) A doggy DNA kit for our mutt Griswold,
    2) Tickets to “Hedwig & the Angry Inch” starring Neil Patrick Harris, and
    3) A neon sign from the set of his sitcom Are We There Yet? that an eagle-eyed photographer from the show snagged at a junk store and shipped to me from Connecticut.

    Christian went to therapy and had an MRI for his knee & hip while I worked. Afterward, we took Grizzy to an empty dog park. Bummer. Grizzy was hankering for some play time. We were finally joined by a guy with a rambunctious puppy named Fliffy. Making small talk about our dogs, we asked Fliffy’s dad what breed Fliffy was (poodle, Wheaton terrier mix). He asked what Grizzy was. I said we didn’t know but that I got the doggy DNA kit for Christian’s birthday.

    “Today’s your birthday?” the guy asked as he walked toward Christian with his hand extended to give a shake. “It’s mine, too.”

    Weird! “Happy birthday, Fliffy’s dad!”

    “What year? I’m 1973.”

    WOW! WHOA! WEIRD! What are the odds?

    Hungry, Christian, Grizzy & I left the park for LIC Bar. We ate Vietnamese food and drank beer in the rapidly diminishing afternoon sun followed by dessert at Monika’s Cafe Bar. We came home to swab Grizzy’s cheeks for DNA, watch TV and not much else.

    Turning 41 on a Tuesday can be pretty blah. If you looked at our day on paper, it probably was.

    Christian & Griswold

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    Fly, Baby, Fly

    NYPDTweetI saw a tweet (click pic at right or scroll down below) from the NYPD and thought it was cool. It’s cool not only that in 1988 Mary Lowery was the first woman assigned to the NYPD’s Aviation Unit, but also because that same year Mom was wiring avionics for Heli-Dyne in Hurst, TX. She was even in a Budweiser commercial during the “For all you do, this Bud’s for you!” advertising phase. One helicopter they built was for…you guessed it:  The NYPD.

    After the helicopter was completed, the NYPD gave everyone at Heli-Dyne baseball hats with their logo on it. Dad used it to try to get out of a traffic ticket. I was with him and acted as his interpreter. Dad told the truth to me, and I interpreted a lie to the cop which was better. We got off. We didn’t need the hat.

    Years later, when I moved to NYC, I worked at the law firm that represented the NYPD in their precedent-setting licensing efforts. Less than two months after the license was granted, planes flew into the Twin Towers on 9/11 and the NYPD’s trademark became invaluable. Months were spent at Ground Zero confiscating unlicensed NYPD hats. Funny how things go full circle.

    Heli-Dyne I always loved that Mom didn’t have a “traditional woman’s” job. That she excelled in her industry inspired and empowered me. With each generation we women can learn from and lean on each other.  There’s something weird going on in the USA with women’s rights. I can’t fully wrap my head around it and why it’s happening now, but I have faith that it’s just a phase. We still have the right to vote, something our [great] grandmothers didn’t always have and women in other countries *still* don’t have.

    Exercise that right, ladies.

    Build your own helicopter and fly that baby.

    ~Kambri
    Below are pics of the tweet / photo of Mary Lowery and a photo of Mom (the redhead) with two other women in avionics with the NYPD chopper, wiring other choppers and the NYPD choppers in action at the World Trade Center and the Brooklyn Bridge.

    NYPDTweet Heli-Dyne NYPDChopperBridge NYPDChopperWTC NYPD Chopper MomWiringChopper MomWiringChopper2 NYPDChopperTest

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    Solo Shows & Storytelling

    The first time I saw the Oscar-winning movie Midnight Express was the summer I turned seven years old. The Academy Award-winning film was based on the memoir by a young American named Billy Hayes who was arrested in Turkey in 1970 during an attempt to smuggle hashish out of the country by taping it all over his body. His sentence of four years was, for various reasons, converted to a minimum of thirty years to life. For trying to smuggle pot. Crazy.

    Life in a Turkish prison is pretty horrific as you can imagine, and Mr. Hayes’ story left an indelible mark on my young, impressionable mind.  The movie is rated R for violence, a gay-lite prison sex scene (hubba, hubba), tons of nudity (including full frontal male, hubba, hubba, hubba), and a prison visit masturbation scene (hubb…oh…wait…this is heart-wrenching).

    Obviously, it was highly inappropriate for me to watch it. Yet I did…alone…dozens of times thanks to a summer spent at my deaf grandparents who had cable TV. This should serve as a testament to powerful storytelling that a seven-year-old kid would watch a long, quietly intense drama about a Turkish prison experience.

    midnightexpressLast week, I went to see Mr. Hayes in his solo show “Riding the Midnight Express”. It’s just him and a stool and a bottle of Poland Spring followed by a Q&A and book signing. He was generous of his time and gave us his all even though it was a light crowd on a Wednesday afternoon during  a snowstorm.

    He told the same story he wrote in his memoir — the memoir that Oliver Stone turned into a movie that won an Oscar. After winning, I’m sure plenty would think, “Hang up the hat, dude. You did it!”. Now, 40+ years later, Mr. Hayes is touring the world with a solo show.

    This is encouraging to me as someone who is worried that I’ve squeezed all the juice from the lemons life gave me.

    My memoir is almost two years old and even older to NYC alt comedy and storytelling audiences. Now, here I am on a train to Rochester to give a speech at RIT/NTID and am in the early stages of producing a solo show of me telling the same old story. Really? YUP!

    So the timing of seeing Mr. Hayes could not have been more perfect. There are billions of people in the world and all but several thousand of them have never heard of me, my book, my storytelling, nothing. Add to that, that I actually have a *message* of hope and societal change to share, why would I stop now?

    I’m reminded of Mike Birbiglia, too. I saw him tell him tell his Sleepwalk with Me story many times as a long stand up comedy bit about ten years ago, give or take. It progressed to long form storytelling on This American Life and, most recently, a feature film.

    Like Mike, I have other stories to share and hope to not be telling the same story in 40 years, but even if I am? Fantastic. What a privilege it is to have people come out, spend their hard earned money and precious time to see me. Thank you, each and every one of you, who have given me that honor.

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    Make Life Happen

    Don’t ya just love when the Universe sends a clear message? I’ve been pretty lazy about a few projects and haven’t been able (wanted?) to focus on them even though they get me excited simply talking about them. These horses have got legs, some of them are even saddled up, I’m just not hopping on and taking the reins for whatever reason(s).

    Then I got an email from a reader asking me if it was okay for her to use a line from my memoir as a tattoo (see pic). I’ve shared part of that email below with her permission:

    I wrote to you about a year ago after I read your book for the second time. I had told you about a passage in your book that struck me.

    “Events in my life just seemed to happen to me. Now, however, I wanted to make life happen.”

    You responded telling me about how you made lists and started making things work for you, having the universe respond. And again…it struck me.

    I have that passage written down and look at it daily. It’s on the wall at work. It’s a note in my phone. I even have it written on a post it note I keep in my wallet just in case I need that reminder. I have held that phrase, that power, with me since I first read it.

    … It’s become the way I try to live my life and it’s something I want to carry with me, literally, forever…

    In any sense, I appreciate your words and your kindness and I genuinely appreciate you for helping me to change my life.

    How nice, right? I replied to her that, of course, she could use the line. Her email came at the perfect time to remind me that I have to hop on the saddle and take the reins.

    She inspired me to live by my own words:

    Make life happen.

    ~Kambri
    Giddy up!

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    Wet n’ Wild Megalast Lip Color

    I arrived in DC last night and quickly realized I didn’t bring any lip gloss or color. I have tons at home, so I wasn’t in the mood to spend a lot of time or money on new stuff and the corner CVS’s small inventory was raked over. This resulted in my grabbing the cheapest stuff I could easily find: Wet n Wild.

    I got the standard clear stuff just to apply over my bare lips or with lip liner and then some bright pink stuff because it was $3. So why not? YOU CAN’T STOP ME. I’M CRAZY LIKE THE WIND!

    Turns out, the pink stuff was Wet n Wild’s Megalast liquid lip color called “Back to the Fuchsia”. I applied it in a dark restaurant and almost immediately was like, “WTF?” I mean it looked like gloss and felt like gloss, but this was not gloss. It dried to a matte finish (Eeeewwww, why? Noooooo! The 90s were my “lost years”, and I don’t need to find them again.) and my lips actually were sticking together. The stuff is very tacky. Pun intended.

    I dabbed on a bit of the clear stuff because I couldn’t stand the feeling of dry, tacky lips then ate dinner, had a drink and HOURS later this picture is AFTER my shower. Wow. MegaLAST is MegaRIGHT. Photo on 2-13-14 at 5.50 PM #2

    Had I not applied the little bit of clear gloss the stuff ain’t budging. Like busy-day-as-a-porn-star smudge-proof.

    I’m not entirely sure the color is right for me, especially in the winter with my pale, freckled skin, but for $3 and hundreds of applications in the bottle we are talking my language:  Bang for Three Bucks!*

    *Also the future name of my porno in which I’ll test drive this stuff.

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    I Can See Clearly Now…

    I bought my first pair of reading glasses today, so now I can clearly read the words on my Last Will & Testament.  #old

    Within a few hours…

    I misplaced my readers.

    Who wants my organs? Because I’m just gonna end this nonsense now. Ya know, my high school Anatomy & Physiology teacher Mr. Terrell used to yell at me:

    “Live fast, die young & leave a good-looking corpse, Crews! You’re going to hell in a hand basket!”

    So, yeah, Mr. Terrell was right. AND I’M GOING WITHOUT ANY *&*#@$ READERS!

    *Update: Found them and then bent one arm. This is gonna take some getting used to!

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    The Final Chapter…?

    A roach-type bug the size of a mouse ran across the living room. I whacked it like it was Jason and I was Tommy in the end scene of Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter. Hopefully, unlike the movies, there will not be parts 5 through 12.

    Apparently my soft spot for insects of all shapes & sizes is limited to the Rock House, and I’m okay with that.

     

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    Throwing Tampons Must Be a Texas Thang

    The first and only time I was summoned to the principal’s office I was in 6th grade and eleven years old. Hearing my name called out in science class sent an electric jolt through me. I felt the sting ofsmall_paddle_with_holes every eyeball on me as I slunk out of the room toward Mr. Simmons’ office, a place very familiar to my older brother David but previously unseen by me.

    Mr. Simmons kept a paddle hanging outside his door as an ominous warning to Not. Mess. With. Him. It was a flat, rectangular shaped hunk of varnished wood with a handle and holes drilled into the paddle to reduce air resistance and increase velocity. Ouch. David was BFFs with that paddle.

    I got hotter and clammier with each step toward THE OFFICE wondering if my rear-end would become intimate with a hunk of wood for KissingPotion the first time. I quickly scanned the inventory of my life in search of what I could’ve done wrong to deserve this. But I had not broken a rule since I was five years old when my brother busted me stealing Cherry Smash flavored roll-on lip gloss called Kissing Potion made by Maybelline. I was a good girl.

    When I entered the office, I was relieved to see a few other girls in attendance. I would not suffer this fate alone. Mr. Simmons launched into a speech that started with school bus safety. That’s when I realized the other girls also rode Bus #9 driven by Mrs. Buttercase.

    I audibly exhaled and turned about five shades of pink. “That’s what this is about?” Relief swept over me even though I knew my brother was one of “the boys”. He’d thrown one of the tampons at me, nailing me in the left eye. It landed at my feet where I gawked at it wondering what everyone was so freaked out about. It was just a white hunk of cotton with a string coming out of it. What was the big deal?

    “This mornin’, Mrs. Buttercase told me some of the boys were throwing feminine hygiene products.”

    I’d never seen a real tampon before in or out of its applicator, but the older kids were in hysterics. They winced, convulsed and heaved like they might puke if the flying cotton came within an inch of them. Chaos reigned. Mr. Simmons was right when he yelled, “It’s a miracle Mrs. Buttercase didn’t run off into a ditch and kill all y’all.”

    David was sure to get paddled again for this infraction, but I hadn’t thrown anything. I had only kicked the offending cotton under the seat in front of me.

    Mr. Simmons continued, “But what I wanna know is where did the boys get such a thing? Which one of you girls knows something about this?” I could swear he was looking at me. Someone supplied the ammunition and they were going to be in as much trouble as the boys who’d begun throwing them around. My brother was usually the instigator of trouble on Bus #9. By the look in Mr. Simmons’ eyes, David had already been convicted and I was the likely accomplice. Never mind that any boy could’ve raided his mother’s or sister’s stash. Duh.

    Anxious to distance myself from my brother, I shot my hand in the air. Mr. Simmons looked surprised, like he’d caught a fish without using any bait; it jumped into his boat. “Yes, Kambri, what do you have to say about this?”

    “Sir, it wasn’t me. I haven’t even had my first period!”

    Mr. Simmons turned a shade of scarlet worthy of its own letter. “Oh, well, umm…okay, you can go on back to class then.”

    And thus began my lifelong habit of sharing Too. Much. Information.

    ~Kambri
    I never ever got Kissing Potion by stealing or purchasing. The slick, yummy gloss was forever ruined for me by the shame of stealing it once in a moment of selfish passion.

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    Who Wore it Better?

    I was watching “Cheers” and nearly choked on my chicken when I saw the shirt Carla was wearing. I had the same shirt when I was 10 yrs old and wore it on my brother’s 14th birthday.

    It’s like the trailer trash edition of Who Wore it Better?

    14th Birthday Carla Shirt

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    One To Grow On

    I came across a mustard yellow moth, perched on the sash of a window. Had it not been perched on a white windowsill, it otherwise may have been overlooked.

    Io Moth - Closed

    But I gently prodded his wings open and LO!

    Io Moth - Open

    Moral of the story? You don’t know what beauty, talent and creativity is lurking beneath until you spread your wings.

    And that’s one to grow on.

     

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    Gee, Thanks, Mom!

    On 48 Hours Mystery, a mom explains why she was suspicious of her daughter’s new love interest. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Mom! I’ll refrain from further remarks about instilling daughters with self-esteem so they don’t run off with abusive cads. Oh. Wait. Never mind.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    http://kambricrews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/IMG_3048.mov

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    Chicken of the NYC

    I was standing on my corner waiting for the light to change when an older woman of European or Middle Eastern descent with a utility push cart suddenly stopped and asked me, “Do you eat tuna?”

    “Sorry?” I was sure I understood her, but wait. What?

    “Tuna. Do you eat it?”

    “Oh, tuna, yes I eat it.”

    “Do you know of this Chicken of the Sea. Is good yes?”

    “Sure,” I shrugged. “Brands are kind of all the same.” I didn’t think it worth it to parse out the differences between oil and water, chunk, light, blah, blah, blah.

    “Because my husband say it CHEAP!” She then launched into a scathing detailed account of how she came home with the groceries and he bitched about the cheap tuna demanding she go back to the store to return it. She disagreed and said, “He eat what I bring home!”

    Strong words for a woman who was on her way to Western Beef to exchange the tuna.

    I laughed and said, “I don’t think the brand matters but look for solid white albacore.”

    “Huh? Al-buh-core?” She repeated, unsure of this new word I was introducing to her vocabulary.

    “Yes, A-L-B-A…You know what, I’ll just show you.” So she and I walked along with her pushcart to Western Beef, her complaining of her nitpicking husband the whole way.

    In the canned meat section of the store, I showed her the difference between tuna packed in oil versus water and chunk versus solid white.

    I gave her a wicked little grin and said, “Take home Bumble Bee, so your husband will think he’s right.”

    “He will complain about something else then! He eat what I bring home!” She said as she placed the Bumble Bee in her basket.

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    Sign from Above

    Before I went to bed last night, I considered what I might do today. I thought of starting yoga or meditation, saying to Christian, “I need to clear my mind. I need an open heart and eyes to feel and see.”

    I privately, sheepishly declared to myself, “What is right for me? What should I be doing? I need a sign from above!”

    I woke to a peaceful, breezy cool day at the Rock House. I spent much of the day researching a new hobby and helping Christian chainsaw some trees. My only “chores” were to drop Christian off at the bus station and pick up a few things at the market. After I returned home, I was on the patio putting my seedlings to bed for the night. That’s when I heard a commotion in the woods behind the outbuilding. I quickly made sure the dogs were secure then wandered to where the sound was. It had been a heavy thump with some thrashing about of leaves followed by silence. If it were deer, I would have seen and/or heard them run away. That’s when I noticed five very large birds circling very low by our outbuilding.

    Bird of Prey Quill One or more must’ve attacked something. I was so glad I had made Paquita take cover. I’d read just yesterday about how Bald Eagles, which can be spotted all over these parts, can carry about 4 pounds. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t try to lift her up and drop her from a height that could kill her. As I marveled at their cunning hunting skills and how low they were flying, this feather floated down to earth.

    As I picked it up, I laughed. “A quill?! So I should write?!”

    I did ask for a sign from above. Ask and you shall receive, regardless if you like the answer.

    The calamus, the hollow shaft of the feather that attaches it to the bird’s skin*, was still wet with a little bit of flesh around it as though it had been ripped out from the bird’s body. Creepy! Weird! COOL!

    It measures at 18 inches long (!!!) and is almost perfect except for a teensy, weensy missing nick at the top. As much as I love my little parakeet Dinah, her feathers aren’t nearly this fascinating. The dogs sniffed at it for a full five minutes, but if it moved, they jumped back as if they’d touched an electric wire.

    I never did meditate today. As for tomorrow? Tomorrow I’ll wash the dishes and craft a quill pen out of my feather.

    And write.

    ~Kambri
    *Yes, I did look that up and will quiz you on it later.

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    You Say Cicada. I Say Locust. Let’s Call the Whole Thing an Exoskeleton.

    With all the talk of cicadas coming out of a seventeen year slumber emerging from the earth, I can’t help but think of my maternal deaf grandmother. She was traumatized at the mere sight of their crusty brown exoskeletons, so surely the onslaught of trillions must have her convulsing in her grave.

    During my childhood, I spent summers staying with her and Grandpa at their two-bedroom Tulsa home. Once the magic of cable television wore off, I staved off boredom by playing pranks on my sweet, gullible, good sport, grandma. My budding acting skills were honed as I terrorized her. I would ring the doorbell and pretend an axe murderer was trying to break in and the phone lines had been cut, or I’d push over the swing set in the backyard and act as if my cousins or the neighborhood kids were trapped underneath with broken limbs.

    My favorite prank was finding the empty shells of locusts clinging to trees and bushes and place them where I knew Grandma would grab before looking:  The kitchen faucet, the television remote and the steering wheel of her car. The jerk of her hand as if she’d touched a hot stove coupled with a blood curdling scream was pee-in-my-pants hilarious. The meanest placement was on the toilet paper roll knowing she would have no choice but to either not wipe or gather the courage to remove the critter on her own. Bless her sweet heart.

    shokotan_cicada_3

    But this?

    I never thought to do this.

    Why would I?

    Because WTF?

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    Cleveland’s Cavalier

    By now I’m sure you’ve seen the news from Cleveland, Ohio that three young women Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight who were missing for nine, ten and eleven years respectively, have been found alive. charles-ramsey-meme

    During an epic interview with local news reporters, neighbor Charles Ramsey had this to say about his kidnapping neighbor Ariel Castro, “You got some big testicles to pull this off, bro.”

    Indeed.

    “I knew something was wrong when a little, pretty white girl ran into a black man’s arms” is just one of several amazing quotes Ramsey gives. The interview came after he came to the aide of Berry who bravely initiated the escape from captivity with her six-year-old daughter at her side. (Yeah, do the math, that daughter is the product of her captor or one of his two brothers who are also in custody.)

    “I figured it was a domestic-violence dispute,” Ramsey said. And he helped anyway. 

    Now that is a motherfu*king hero right there. Thank God he didn’t just look away when he thought it was a domestic situation like so many people do. Bro should get some hefty reward money to buy some of those newfangled wraps from Mickey Ds!

    I had screamed and begged for someone to call 911 the night Dad attacked Mom. No one did. Yet within the week we were evicted for “excessive noise disturbance.” So my neighbors DID hear my cries and chose not to intervene. They didn’t even place an anonymous call to 911. I wrote about it in my memoir (excerpt below) and to this day my heart races and blood pressure rises when I think about the cowardice and selfishness they displayed.

    If you hear or suspect any abuse of any kind, you can anonymously report it. SIMPLY REPORT IT. Charles Ramsey? He ran to the porch, smashed the door, pulled the woman and her child out and called 911. To him I’ll echo his own words:

    “You got some big testicles to pull this off, bro.”

    ~~~

    Excerpt from BURN DOWN THE GROUND Chapter 14 – Excessive Noise Disturbance:

    I was back with Rob for only a week when Mom dropped another bombshell: “We’re going to be evicted.”

    “Evicted? Why?”

    “Excessive noise disturbance. Come on and help me pack.”

    My blood boiled. I had screamed and begged for help the night my father smashed our porch light, punched holes in the walls, and broke down our front door. Not only had the neighbors heard my cries for help and chosen to ignore me, but they had complained?

    Defeated, I packed up my room for another move. I was loading up boxes of books and letters when I came across a pile of college brochures and scholarship applications. Before August 15, I had planned on attending a university to major in aeronautical engineering as homage to Mom, admiring her for her work with helicopters. Aeronautical engineering could be my backup plan in case my acting career didn’t pan out. The paperwork had been overwhelming and asked detailed questions that I didn’t know how to answer, like what my parents’ income was. On the rare occasions Mom inquired about the process, I brushed her off. She never went to college, so she wouldn’t know how to fi ll out the forms any more than I would. “I’m working on them,” I answered and that was that. They remained incomplete.

    Who am I kidding? I angrily hurled the blank applications in the trash and emptied the rest of my room. I felt hopeless and just gave up. I should have asked for help, but I didn’t know how.

     

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    Someone Teach Jennifer Lawrence ASL

    And have her star as me in the movie of my life. Seriously. Everything she said, the faces she made, all of it was so “me”. She nails the same tone I strike in telling my stories and answering questions like, “What was it like living in a shack because my trailer was repo’d?” It sucked. DUH! But make a funny face and laugh and on to the next question. I love her.

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    No Child Left Behind

    Finished Season 4 of The Wire tonight and now I’m depressed and trolling for Wednesday’s Child looking for a kid to adopt like Petfinder.com. Except Petfinder.com is more user-friendly, updated and not filled with broken links. Poor kids. Time to get back to watching Cheers.

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    “P” is for “Possibilities”

    Since my book tour and promotion is coming to an end, I’ve been a little bored and wondering what I should do next with my life. I’ve been a publicist, producer, paralegal, paraprofessional, promoter…so obviously something that starts with “P”. But I’ve also been a writer, blogger, actress, teller, data entry clerk, vice president of a bank’s commercial collection department and a secretary. Basically, I’m up for anything and keeping myself open to possibilities which, hey, that starts with “P”!

    For a brief moment, I thought, “I should take a cooking class!” Then I remembered I’m not a Meryl Streep character. If anything, I’m more like Diane Keaton in Baby Boom minus the baby. (Hmmm….maybe I should adopt or inherit a kid?! Okay, someone take away the bottle, because clearly I’m drunk for even thinking that.)

    But as the daughter of a carpenter and having dwelled in the woods, I have more intuition and practical skills than Ms. Keaton did in that movie. My only bonehead mistake thus far is flashing an old man my “flower” and not holding one nostril as I attempted a farmer’s sneeze yesterday as I stacked my wood pile. This resulted in a jellyfish like blob that dangled from my nose which I wiped off with the sleeve of a sweatshirt. No worries, it was Christian’s so I was fine with that. (Hey, Christian, you might want to wash it before you throw it on again.)

    Meanwhile, I am enjoying cooking at the cabin. Time in the woods means I must plan and cook meals for myself since takeout isn’t an option and restaurants are pretty far and expensive. Plus, I have a lovely kitchen that I’m getting to know how to use. My crockpot has been a good friend (1 pot for cooking + cleaning = brilliant!) and grilling in nice weather has been equally delightful. But after two years, I’m starting to spread my hot glued Martha Stewart wings and try new recipes.

    My latest obsession is how to recreate Panera Bread’s yummy egg soufflés since there is no Panera within a hundred miles or so. I found a few knock-off recipes online but the problem is how to cook them. So now I’m salivating over this Chicago Metallic Pie Mold. I can make the Panera soufflés, chicken pot pie, individual dessert pies and who knows what else?!

    Add to my Christmas wish list along with a wood stove steamer. It took me three winters to discover that I could add moisture to the air by heating a pot of water on the stove. I threw in a few cinnamon sticks for aroma and now want to make tea with the cinnamon water. I don’t even drink tea but that’s what this place does to me! It makes me open to “P”ossibilities!

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    In the Papers

    I feel like today’s NY Post should have it’s own exclusive “In the Papers” segment with Pat Kiernan.

    The cover is a heartwarming story of an NYPD officer Larry DiPrimo buying socks and a pair of $75 boots for a homeless man. So touching, right?  People all over the country have been so incredibly moved by his selfless gesture that the Post devoted the cover and two full pages to the story. All I can think is, “Giving a shoeless homeless man pair of boots is very kind, but the man is probably mentally ill and still on the streets…but go ahead and put the bandaid on open gash.” Pfft. I know I’m being a buzzkill but I can’t shake the cynical, pessimistic thought. Luckily the bum seems harmless unlike some of the lunatics that roam city streets. But, yeah, kudos to the officer. Nice job, dude. I hope they enjoy their fifteen minutes before the Post digs up some salacious info on one or both of them (hope you never sexted anyone, bro!) and rips them apart.

    Then there’s an article on Lindsay Lohan‘s latest run-in with the law. Oh LiLo, did Britney not teach you anything? Nothing surprises me here. That the Post would devote two full pages to the once promising actress’ ongoing trouble tornado (Officer DiPrimo, take note! Nothing pleases the Post more than to tear down what it helped build.) or that Lindsay socked a lady in the face. What would be a surprise is she actually had to serve time. It helped straighten up Paris and Britney. Girl needs help. Incidentally, the precinct where Lindsay was taken is the same one I picked up ArIes Spears from when he *allegedly* forcibly touched a lady at the comedy nightclub Comix.

    Finally, there is an article covering a bizarre incident during the sexual abuse trial stemming from charges that a 12-year-old girl was molested by a leader in the Hasidic Jewish Satmar sect. I’ve always found Hasidic Judaism stranger and more cult-like than other religions which are all pretty strange and cult-like when you slice and dice them. Hasids are almost as strange as the time I saw one of my Dad’s extended family writhing around on the floor of a church moaning and crying and panting like she was being shtupped by the Holy Ghost. And, ladies, let me tell you, the Ghost had found her G(lory) spot. I felt the same way watching it as when seeing a clip of a hidden camera show or celebrity sex tape and thought, “I shouldn’t be seeing this.” Shudder.

    Anyway, back to the case. The case is full of twists and turns and stunning revelations worthy of gang or mob trials like witness intimidation and that the girl’s father secretly recorded his daughter having sex and other creepy stuff. Today’s report is that four Hasidic men were charged with photographing the unidentified girl and posting it on social media sites. One of the accused photographers? His name is Lemon Juice.

    LEMON JUICE.

    If every news cycle were this interesting, Kiernan could have his own national talk show.

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    What’s Wrong With This Picture?

    New York, I’m very disappointed in you. This subway ad has remained unmarred for three whole days.  I might just have to take my Sharpie and show you how it’s done. For educational purposes only, of course.

    Sincerely,
    Kambri Crews — Giving new meaning to “twisty moustache” since November 2012.

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    Extra! Extra!

    I have been two degrees from Kevin Bacon since 1997. Today that all changed. I was an extra on his new television show The Following which premieres in January. I was in a very, very short scene –think 5 lines and ten seconds– with some guy named Shawn Ashmore and a lady (Ann? Anne?) from Law & Order (though her character on that show {an ADA?} was killed off).

    It’s unlikely you’ll even see me, but what a fun day with awesome food and people. A guy got “stabbed,” there was blood everywhere, and I got paid!

    Tomorrow I’ll be pretending to walk my dogs in the park and having lunch with my husband.

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    Erik Estrada is in Mortal Peril

    Will Christian Seek Revenge on Nemesis Erik Estrada

    During a little cocktail party prior to the TV Land Awards, a certain Mr. Erik Estrada had me swooning. The man I knew and loved as the star of CHiPs was as charming, good looking and fun loving as the 8-year-old me had hoped and dreamed. See evidence Exhibit A to the right: Erik and I gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes, as my then fiancé, Christian Finnegan sulks nearby.

    Read my original blog posts here and here and here.

    Five years have passed since I was hypnotized by Ponch’s spell, and I still get giggly thinking about the moment.

    Today Christian is filming a scene with none other than Erik Estrada on the set of TBS’s Are We There Yet?. He’ll be on Christian’s turf. The question remains: has Christian forgiven him for working his Latin magic on his lady?

    Kambri
    If not, he might have to recruit Terry Crews to help take him out. I mean, have you seen the Ponch in action?

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    New TSA Rule

    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.

    Kambri
    Gosh, how will they ever find the time?

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    Seven Years Ago

    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.

    Kambri

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    Memories from My Old Country Home

    I sent an old friend from Montgomery, TX my yearbooks from our 6th, 7th, and 8th grade years and she mailed me her senior year yearbook. I knew some of the students since I was seven years old. If we hadn’t moved to Ft. Worth before my 10th grade year, I would have graduated with them. So it was genuinely interesting and also kind of heartwarming to see them in a way I hadn’t seen them before: older than when I left them, about to embark on a new phase of their lives.

    After going through the Facebook Page I mentioned below, Mom decided to mail me some old photos I don’t have and some other notes and tidbits she’s kept over the years to add to the page.

    And, best of all, as a Christmas surprise, my brother mailed me an old wrought iron bell in the shape of a longhorn. We used to ring it when we wanted my horse Charlie Brown to come back to the barn for food or I wanted to saddle him up for a ride. It’s been through a lot, not unlike me, my brother and mom. Looking at it brings back so many memories and I’m grateful to him for sending it. I’m going to hang it alongside an old kerosene lamp my mom mailed me a year or so ago. We used to use the lamp in the months before we had electricity. The knob to raise and lower the wick is rusted and stuck, so I doubt it will be in working order again but, like the bell, it’s a lovely inspiration and a reminder of my country roots displayed in my New York City apartment.

    Kambri
    Waxing nostalgic.

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    I Wonder

    If a deaf schizophrenic still hears voices.

    If anyone else kept the shoes they walked home in on 9/11.

    Or the shoes they walked in for Blackout of ’04.

    Why it took my passport only 1.5 weeks to arrive. Aren’t we in post-9/11? A white girl from TX isn’t scary as all git out?How I never opened the drawer that held the jeans I’m now wearing in over two years. These jeans are phenomenal.Why Maybelline, the bunny I rescued while in NOLA after Katrina, doesn’t like coming out of her cage anymore. Sideways sad face.

    What story I should tell on Tuesday at SpeakEasy Stories.
    If anyone else’s rent did not go up. Ours stayed the same for the first time in four years.
    Why I’m so attached to clothes I haven’t worn in ages.
    Where all these pens came from.
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    Sabbatical Update

    Holiday cards are done. I’m still stuck answering Comix questions and taking care of press for upcoming comedians, but I hope that doesn’t continue.

    Laptop is being taken in tomorrow for general cleaning and repair.  I was able to take care of lots of the glitches and annoyances once I devoted an hour or two to it, but I’d still like the pros to wipe off a bunch of the crap I don’t need.
    The armoire is cleaned and all its contents removed and sorted into sell, donate and keep piles. It’s on Craig’s List if you’d like to buy it: http://newyork.craigslist.org/que/fuo/960556791.html
    Home videos sorted and are being taken in for transferring to DVD. A lot faster and less of a hassle than me transferring them to mini-DV as I had started to do. Mini-DVs just don’t hold that much compared to a VHS tape.

    I’ve gone to the gym three days in a row, haven’t had any sugar or alcohol in a few days now so am down two pounds. I’m sure that will change once I hit the holiday parties. I scrubbed the skin off my office. I’ve been here for nearly four years and hadn’t given it a thorough washing. It sparkles.
    Christian bought me a beautiful floor-length mirror for Christmas. Unfortunately I figured it out when I was at our mailbox place and they showed me the package.  Eek. Oops. Oh, well. He assembled it and it’s in my freshly cleaned office looking dazzling.
    Um, what else?  Oh, yeah, I’ve managed to churn out 6,000 more words.  Not shabby but far from my goal.

    Kambri
    Speaking of…back to the keyboards!

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    On Race

    I listened to a particularly depressing This American Life podcast yesterday. I won’t ruin it for you or drag you down to my level (entirely), but it is about the last days of the election in Pennsylvania. Basically, racism is alive and well and it’s fu*king disgusting and bolstered by a mind-boggling level of ignorance and paranoia. Of course we already knew that but listening to an hour of reporting on it was tough. Hearing ostensibly decent people rationalize their racism was even tougher.

    Kambri
    Can’t wait to cast my ballot for a black man not because he’s black or in spite of him being black, but because he shares my views on issues that are important to me.

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    Eeewww

    Who keeps Googling “Kambri Finnegan”?* Eew. As if.

    And I STILL get tons of Google hits for Molly Shannon’s nipple mishap yet I have STILL never heard or seen evidence of such a mishap.

    And “Christian Finnegan Weight Loss” remains #1 on the Google search hit bonanza for this site even though Christian wrote a big old blog entry over a year ago. People still think it happened overnight, but whatever. He goes to a personal trainer and busts his tail to keep his weight at status quo sans surgery, coke or vomiting.

    Kambri
    No offense Finnegans of the world, but come on…Kambri Crews = pretty awesome name. Kambri Finnegan? I’m not even Irish!

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    Meme Tag

    I was tagged with a meme and, what the hell, I did it:

    1. What were you doing 10 years ago? Suffering through a miserable banking job in Columbus, Ohio and doing liquor and tobacco marketing / promotions at night to keep me otherwise occupied.

    2. What were you doing 1 year ago? Working on the Meow Mix House, promoting Christian’s Miami appearance with MySpace and other PR stuff.

    3. 5 snacks you enjoy: Salt & Vinegar potato chips, pickles, popcorn, olives & Greek dips like hummus or tzatziki.

    4. 5 songs that you know all the lyrics: Pour Some Sugar on Me, Love Will Keep Us Together, Jamie’s Cryin’ or most any other DLR-era Van Halen, and Big Balls by AC/DC.

    5. 5 things you would do if you were a millionaire: open a sanctuary for rescued animals, buy an apartment in the city, buy a country house with a porch, get a big BBQ grill (I miss cooking / eating outside with friends), join the Zone diet or some other service that sends me good, healthy food that I don’t have to prepare.

    6. 5 bad habits: biting my fingernails, excessive internet surfing, interrupting, letting calls go to voice mail, eating out for every single meal.

    7. 5 things you like doing:
    –Reading the morning paper with a cup of deli coffee
    –New York magazine crossword puzzles while I soak in the tub
    –Watching marathons of Forensic Files or similar shows while I catch up reading my periodicals,
    –Playing in bed with Paquita the first 30 minutes after I wake up. It’s the most fun, cute, great way to wake up,
    — Dining out with Christian be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. We always have the most leisurely, amazing meals and conversation.

    8. 5 things you would never wear again:
    –Spandex pants (ohmygod I hope there are NO photos),
    –Fake fingernails,
    –Pantyhose,
    –Pink lipstick,
    –Mini skirts.

    9. 5 favorite toys: my animals, Playstation, travel Scrabble, Tivo and the internet.

    Kambri

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    Honeymoon in Queens

    So now that our wedding party is over, it’s the honeymoon right? So what do we do? Clean out all our closets and our underbed plastic storage bins. We’re reluctantly donating two big bins of books and happily ditching about six MORE bags of Christian’s clothes that no longer fit his svelte figure. I’m purging a bunch of old office wear as well figuring I’ll never work in an uptight office environment again. If, by some chance I do, then these clothes still won’t be missed and will surely be out of style.

    Returning from an errand, I passed by the Salvation Army. I saw a woman hunched over digging through bags of clothes that had been dropped off after hours. I almost stopped to tell her that I have tons of clothes she could pick through before I donated them but, before I could, she stood up and faced me.

    It was my neighbor.

    My male neighbor.

    The frightened / humiliated look was like I caught him pissing standing up in the ladies room. We made eye contact that read, “We will never speak of this moment.” Instead I’ll just share it with the world wide web.

    Kambri
    I still wanted to offer my clothes because I’m sure we’re around the same size. Sad that the moment passed.

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    Promised Erik Estrada Picture

    I can’t stop laughing slash sweating slash snorting slash blushing when I look at this hilarious slash sexy slash embarrassing photo of me & Erik Estrada as my fiance’, comedian Christian Finnegan, sulks nearby:

    Video taken at the 2006 TV Land Awards right before we hit the red carpet:

    Kambri

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    I Didn’t Do It! I Swear!

    I’m sure by now everyone has heard about the woman who cut off her boyfriend’s penis. [Click here for the full story.] It was, however, found. So, the mystery of whose penis was found in the ketchup bottle remains unsolved. Rest assured, I’m on the case.

    Kambri
    Obsessed with stories of penes.

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    I’m Doing it Right Now

    So the Apprentices got a little heat from Dove for being to obvious about their not so subtle use of sex to sell some body wash. (For those of you who haven’t seen it — including myself until about 5 minutes ago — they featured the white, creamy body wash getting seductively rubbed all over a giant cucumber. Apparently that caused some people to think of sex??? I’m just hungry for some cucumber salad now. Show me an ad for some Velveeta, however, and…well, I digress.) Click here and scroll down to get the video.

    What about Crest? Have you seen their latest ad?

    It features a few women, all in their late 20s or early 30s, in various everyday scenarios addressing you, the viewing consumer, with come hither voices, “I’m doing it right now,” I’m doing it right now,” and “I’m doing it right now.” What exactly, pray tell, are they doing?

    Kegel exercises or using their rabbit? What else? Ohhhhhhhh, Crest White Strips…silly me!

    I guess in advertising subtlety is the key. I say call a spade a spade. If you’re going to try to hawk your product using sex just tell me. This roundabout angle makes me suspicious. Do the strips not actually get your teeth white or are they so expensive that I need to have a happy ending to feel my whitening was worth the cash? And just why don’t any men do it right now?

    Kambri
    Seriously, I am doing it right now. And by “it”, I mean, downing a leftover “egg roll”.

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    02.16.2005

    There was another strong showing at Sob Stories last night. Don’t miss next month’s show called “Family Jewels” when comics relate tales of their horrible gene pools. Hmm…maybe I should book myself on the show.

    End Note
    A Swedish woman says she opened a bottle of ketchup to find a human penis inside.

    “It’s disgusting. We would like to know how this thing ended up in a ketchup bottle,” said Viktoria Ed. – Bill Hoffman, Wire Services via the NY Post.

    Kambri

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    Gospel of Jack 2:1

    Me: I’m off to the Denist, sorry.

    Jack: That’s okay, I’m just happy to hear you’re getting drilled.

    I spent much of today in the dentist chair. I sat patiently listening to soothing classical music and staring out the window at the beautiful top of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and daydreamed about my new apartment.

    Yes, I was drilled with a view of St. Pat’s. I love this place.

    Kambri
    Know of any good decorating wesites?