Saturday, February 21, 2004

Controlled Substance

It has come to my attention that since I have been so immersed in writing this Journal the following situations have occurred:
1) Laundry: We have no underwear.  Even the emergency supply of older underwear is now dirty and lying beside the over flowing hamper.
2) Errands: We are out of kitty litter. 
3) Dusting: It is so dusty in here that it has been suggested that if anyone were to accidentally drop a seed it would take root and grow.
4) Dishes: We have no clean dishes or flatware.  The dishwasher is full.
5) Health: Nothing's getting firmer if there's dust on the Bowflex!  
6) Communication: I haven't opened the US Post office mail in a month. I haven't talked to my mother in over 6 weeks.
7) Beauty: My roots are 3 inches long.
8) Maintenance: There is a Christmas wreath hanging on our front door. All my houseplants have died.
Needless to say, I need to get my priorities in order, stop procrastinating, and get to work. So I am going to have to stop blogging on a regular basis, and just write one whenever I get the chance.  I need to stop writing, and turn off the computer.  PUT THE MOUSE DOWN AND STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER.  LOL.  I could write an entry about that.  If I had the time that is.  But I don't, so I'll have to save that idea for another day.  As soon as I finish this cup of coffee I am so out of here.  That laundry is as good as done.  I'm not even going to sign on later to see if I have any mail.  I'm already doing so well.  You won't be seeing MY screen name lit up.  Nope.  I should write a new 'Away Message' though.  Something like, "I'm sorry.  I'm not at my computer right now, I am busy cleaning, shopping, doing laundry, opening mail, calling my mother, exercising and putting away all the Christmas decorations."  It would be rude and uncaring not to put up a message.  Just because I'm busy doesn't mean that I can't be friendly.  Uh-oh.  I think Ray is walking over to pull the plug!  He's yelling, "Go towards the light, honey!  I mean the DUST!"  Isn't he just too cute?  I should write an entry on all the cute things he does!  But not today.  Sigh.  OH ALL RIGHT!  Don't forget me, guys!!  I'll be back!

Friday, February 20, 2004

My Debut Part II

Picture from HometownThe other girl comedian went up first and she had trouble taking the microphone off of the stand.  I was relieved.  I knew I would have trouble, too.  She talked about being married to a "good 'ole boy from West Virginia", which was kind of comical since she said she was a "Jewish American Princess".  The audience was very nice, and would politely laugh as if on cue whenever it was called for or hoped for.  They listened to every word and genuinely seemed to be enjoying the show.  To tell you the truth I was thrilled that I didn't have to follow a 'killer' act, and grateful to know that the people watching would laugh and clap even if I wasn't funny.  As it turned out, because there were only 3 of us performing, we each did 3 sets.  It was mostly improv since none of us had prepared enough material to go up more than once.  I was more relaxed on my second set, and by my third time on 'stage' I felt like I was in my own living room with a few of my close friends and neighbors.  It wasn't 'Saturday Night Live' , but then again, I'm not Ellen DeGeneres either.  It was a great place to get my feet wet, however.  Everyone was so nice and so supportive.  They all clapped and told me I was "great."  The owner thanked me for coming and asked me if he could use the pictures he had taken during the 'show' on his Web Site.  He shook my hand and said he was "so excited to meet a real comedian!"  He was talking to ME!  They say everyone has to start somewhere, and to tell you the truth, if I ever become famous, I'd be honored to say that I started THERE.

My Debut Part I

Picture from HometownThe comedy club turned out to be a little coffee house in a very small town here in New Jersey.  Although it wasn't too far from my house, the sign wasn't very brightly lit and it was hard to find.  At one time it was probably a corner grocery or a tiny drug store.  It still had a counter which now served all kinds of gourmet coffees and desserts.  There were tables that seated two people scattered throughout the place, and a few couches.  There was a microphone on a stand near the front of the store next to an amplifier.  It was very cozy, but far smaller than I ever imagined.  Even if the place was 'packed', I doubt that it could hold more than 40-50 people.  The owner was an aspiring musician who told me that he normally had an "Open Mic Night" for other musicians every Thursday, but he wanted to try something new.  At first I just wanted to leave.  I felt that I would be wasting my time.  He told me that he had advertised this comedy night on the Internet and in local newspapers, and how nervous he was.  He said he was "honored" that "real comedians" would drop by his store and perform.  We talked awhile and two other comedians came in and put their names on the sign up sheet.  He was so excited, I couldn't bring myself to walk out on him.  Slowly, people started to wander in and sit down.  I wondered how successful the show would be without alcohol.  Only about 25 people showed up by 8PM, but I've been to smaller shows.    (continued below)

Thursday, February 19, 2004

I'm going in...

Every once in a while you have to do something outrageous.  It should be something you know you shouldn't do.  Something wild, crazy, inadvisable, uncharacteristic, and especially risky.  If there's a chance you may end up regretting it, that's even better.  As long as it won't leave you in financial ruin or hurt someone else, just DO it.  Break up the monotony.  Give you and everyone you know something to talk about.  You need stories to tell your grandchildren.  Adventures to keep you young and vibrant.  When my ex-father-in-law died a few years ago, the family asked me to give his eulogy.  It was one of the hardest things I ever had to write.  In his entire life he only completed the basic requirements.  He got married and had three children.  He worked at the railroad for over 40 years, always doing the same job.  He shared his genes with his family but nothing else.  No one knew him.  He never listened to music.  He hated to travel.  He had no friends.  He never went to parties or even family reunions.  He didn't drink or smoke.  He had no habits, bad or good.  He didn't dance, sing or read.  He didn't watch TV or go to the theater.  He liked to eat out, but only with his wife, and only at Diners.  In this world of more than 38 flavors, he was the most plain vanilla man I ever met.  We may never forget him, but there is very little to remember.  So tonight I'm going to follow my own advice.  I'm going to play hooky from work and sneak out to a local club and enter their 'Open Mike Night' for stand up comics.  I'm going alone.  Without Ray, the kids, family, friends or co-workers to support me.  Not a familiar face to focus on, only the faces of strangers.  Hopefully the laughing and smiling faces of strangers.  I will test the waters and see if I have any comedic talent whatsoever.  Am I nervous?  No.  The word petrified comes to mind.  But if I never try, I'll never make it.  You can't leave the room without opening the door.  This is more like trying to climb out of the window, but I think you get the point.  I'm going to do it, damn it.  I'm going in...

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

My Destiny Part I

This is no schoolgirl crush.  It's not an infatuation or even an affair.  It's a lifelong commitment.  X-rated, down and dirty.  Through thick and thin till death do us part.  It's who I am, and who I'll always be.  I'm thinking about changing my last name to ... Chocolate.  I realize the severity of my addiction.  I've tried to give it up a few times but I always come back.  I know it's no good for me but I don't care.  My idea of foraging for food is peeling the tin foil from the individually wrapped pieces of Rolos.  Exercise?  Sustained and vigorous chewing of Tootsie Rolls.  Dieting?  A restriction on the amount of chocolate you eat each day.  I know there are other food groups.  Their purpose is to keep you alive so you can eat more chocolate.  Challenged in some way?  There are sugar free, nut free and dairy free chocolates. There is even religious chocolate; Kosher and GODiva.  If chocolate was available in the Garden of Eden do you think Eve would have gone for the apple? Chocolate has medicinal purposes.  It calms the beast like symptoms of PMS and can help heal a broken heart.  Through out history chocolate has been there.  What do you think Napoleon had hidden under his coat?  A chocolate bar no doubt.  When Marie Antoinette shouted, "Let them eat cake!", she meant chocolate cake.  When Gloria Swanson said,"Alright Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close up.", it was because she had just finished licking the last traces of a chocolate truffle from her finger tips and was ready to resume filming.  There is no event or situation that isn't improved in some way by chocolate.  What did American GI's use to attract women during the great wars?  Chocolate and silk stockings.  Odd combination?  Not really.  The nicer your legs looked the better chance you had of getting more chocolate.  And chocolate is for everybody, no matter what your age, sex, religion, location, nationality, sexual affiliation or income.  And it's totally legal and readily available.  Your first taste was probably from your parents.  Would your own mother give you something that wasn't good?

My Destiny Part II

The reason I am bringing all of this up in the first place is because Ray went skiing today with a friend.  He left me home, all alone, with the box of chocolate covered cherries he gave me for Valentine's Day.  I promised him that I wouldn't eat them all in one day.  That I would space them out so I could enjoy them for at least a week.  If he really expected me to keep that promise he wouldn't have left me all alone with the box.  He wouldn't have given me chocolate in the first place.  Would you buy a wino a bottle of fine wine, leave him alone with it and tell him to just take a sip or two each day so that it would last longer?  Do you really think that once you turned the corner he would savor the bouquet, and then push the cork back into the bottle?  Do you think it's possible that when you find him later he will be sitting there reading the Wall Street Journal?  That on this very happy, very lucky day he's having, you won't find him drunk out of his mind singing songs at the top of his lungs?  Now what do you think I will be doing with myself after I finish this entry?  Cleaning the bathroom?  Stuffing a turkey?  Sweeping up alien droppings from the driveway?  Do you actually think you'll find me huffing and puffing on the Bowflex?  Only if I can do it while I'm eating chocolate covered cherries.  Will Ray come home tonight and find an empty heart-shaped box, little brown papers littering the floor, and me lying there, all round and smiling with chocolate on my breath?  Not on your life.  I'll put the papers in the trash compactor, hide the empty box and I'll be at work till midnight.  So excuse me.  My destiny is melting.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Are you talking to ME?

My hormones are running amuck.  I'm either having multiple hot flashes a day, or some of my memories are so vivid I'm re-living past summers.  The ones when I didn't have air conditioning.  I feel like an adolescent.  I keep looking in the mirror to see if my body has changed any since yesterday.  Like a teenager I'm giddy one moment and sullen the next.  I feel like no one understands me.  I think I'm too fat and I hate my hair. There are moments when all I want to do is run up to my room and slam the door.  Now that I'm old enough to stay up and party all night, I'm too tired to do it.  Why am I still breaking out?  Isn't there a rule that once you start getting wrinkles, you never, ever break out again?  It should be a one or the other law.  My beauty secret is mixing Clearasil and Oil of Olay together in equal parts.  I went to the Eckerd Drug Store on Saturday to look for some remedies.  Walking up and down the aisles made me feel even worse.  Were they kidding?  Why does cellulite cream come in such small bottles?  It should be available in vats.  'Thigh Firming Cream'.  Guaranteed to work.  I wonder if I can rub it all over my body?  Make everything firm.  I got two bottles of that.  Thank God I have a job.  It's going to cost me a fortune just to look like I did.  I may need to take out a loan.   I went to Victoria's Secret to get something sexy for Valentine's Day.  Hmmm.  Maybe if it was really dark, I hid Ray's glasses, we drank a lot of wine and I told him to close his eyes until I was all the way under the blankets I could get away with wearing a teddy and thong.  It would be easier to just have a headache.  Then I checked out their 'Wonder Bra.'  The sales lady didn't think I needed one.  She suggested one called 'The Miracle Bra.'  It's the one you wear before you go into their 'Last Rites' line.  I'm really starting to feel old.  I guess I must have felt young once, or I wouldn't know the difference.  I don't remember.  I think my memory is going, too.  I'm not sure.  What was the question?

Friday, February 13, 2004

Happy Valentine's Day!

 So tomorrow is Valentine's Day.  When you're married your friends always want to know if your husband sent you flowers.  When you're not married your friends want to know if your boyfriend popped the question.  I've never been able to give them the answer they really wanted to hear, even though I've been in both situations.  My ex never sent me flowers.  Every year for 28 years I had to go out and buy my own candy, but at least I knew I'd get some.  Last year was my first Valentine's Day with Ray and although it was very romantic, it was too soon for him to be popping any questions.  My ex got engaged this past Christmas Eve and he'll be marrying his insignificant other at the end of the month.  Ray's ex is living with her boyfriend and she just had a baby a few months ago.  I guess the only way Ray and I could top that would be to win the lottery.  Or announce that we were selling the house, quitting our jobs and leaving next week to sail around the world, stopping in several remote locations where we planned on volunteering our time to teach orphaned eagles to fly, and starving villagers to grow their own crops.  Or... we could just remain as in love as we are today.  Actions really do speak louder than words.  So tomorrow, no matter what you get, where you go or how you celebrate it, just remember to take a few minutes to tell your special someone how much you love them and how happy you are.  And don't forget all the wonderful things they have done for you, not just tomorrow, but all year long.  You can say it with flowers, or chocolate or diamonds... just make sure you say, "I love you!" 
Happy Valentine's Day!!

Thursday, February 12, 2004

But will you still love me tomorrow?

 Valentine's Day pressure starts in grade school when you exchange cards with your classmates.  That may be one of the first times we begin to think that life will give us back as much as we put into it.  I remember equating my entire worth as a person by how many cards I got back.  Teenage girls have come to expect as much from their boyfriends as adult women do.  Half the fun is telling your girlfriends what you got and how he surprised you with it.  His romance potential is measured, gauged, and calculated from whatever he does or doesn't do on this day of all days.  It doesn't matter how he treats you the rest of the year, but by God, he better do it right today!  “He seemed like a wonderful guy.  He called her whenever he was away on a business trip and sung love songs to her over the phone.  He stayed up all night with her when she was sick, and he went to school with her kid on Father and Daughter Day even though he isn't her father, BUT... he didn't send her flowers on Valentine's Day! ”  Who really benefits from Valentine's Day?  Who even thought of it?  Hallmark? 1-800 FLOWERS?  Zale's Diamonds?  Whitman's Chocolates?  And don't forget to buy cards, flowers, and candy to give to your mother, father, children, and friends.  "Say it with flowers!"  "Say it with diamonds!"  Geeze!   Just SAY IT already!  Remember that love is a lot more than what you get on Valentine’s Day.  Getting flowers doesn’t prove that you’re loved.  And getting no flowers doesn’t mean that you’re not.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Just TELL her!

This Saturday is Valentine's Day; the barometer in every romantic relationship.  With a little imagination and determination one man can alter his image, his status, even his future.  There are plenty of businesses more than willing to suggest, guide and assist him in presenting his beloved with the most romantic day in her entire life.  You can't even find an ordinary greeting card. Today successful enterprises utilize the talents of world-class poets, writers and artists to create cards that are large, heavy, battery powered and quite expensive.  Beautiful flowers can be sent to her home or office, hand grown in the gardens of a foreign country. Gourmet Candies indicate the depth of your devotion.  Stuffed animals play music ranging from classical to rock.  Don't forget to add balloons.  You can send these gifts to her through a courier who will recite your poem or sing your song while dressed as her favorite character.  Paint your message on a rented billboard or have an airplane trail a streamer across the sky for the entire world to read.  Light up her name on an electronic score board.  Take out a newspaper ad.  Have a local TV or radio personality tell her on the air.  Create a Web Page.  Give her perfume, lingerie, jewelry, candles, or a certificate to pamper her at the spa...  Movies, theater, dancing, great restaurants, fire works, weekend getaways!  Take out a second mortgage; fly her to Paris for a midnight picnic under the Eiffel Tower while Celine Dion sings "your song" as you toast each other with the finest champagne money can buy.  Even better ...have the entire moment videotaped.  Rent out a local theater when you get back home and invite all of her family, friends and coworkers to watch it.  Serve chocolate covered strawberries while the guests listen to you propose on bended knee.  Never pass up the opportunity to impress her girlfriends, so give her with the biggest diamond you can afford.  But what ever you do this Saturday, after you've told the world how much you love her, don't forget to tell ... her.

Monday, February 9, 2004

20/20

I hate wearing glasses.  At this point in my life it's just one more thing that I put down and then can't find later when I need them.  Unfortunately, I can't read a thing without them.  Like menus.  If I couldn't tell that I was holding it upside down, does the waiter think that turning it around for me will make a difference?  Since I can't wear my glasses in the shower how am supposed to tell the difference between the shampoo and the conditioner?  The more powerful and expensive an anti-wrinkle cream is, the smaller the tube is that it comes in.  Who do they think will be straining to read that microscopic print?  Price tags.  While shopping the other day I could have sworn that the price tag said $12.50.  The cashier rang it up as $125.00.  Those decimal points are so damn tiny.  The thermostat.  I gave up trying to see the numbers on the display.  The heat in our house is usually somewhere between sweaty and chattering teeth.  Remote Controls for TV.  Most of the time I just push any old button and watch whatever brings up a picture.  If I accidentally hit the 'off' button, I can always sign onto the computer.  Microwaves.  If you want me to heat it up for you, be happy with barely warm unless you like liquid molten lava.  Watches.  If you ask me what time it is, the best I can do is hold out my arm so YOU can look at it.  I also noticed that they stopped making seconds hands recently.  Caller ID.  What good is it?  Unless one of us is wearing our glasses when the phone rings, we have no idea who's calling.  Cell phones.  I have all my most frequently dialed and important phone numbers programmed into mine.  But half the calls I make are to the wrong people.  I can't tell the difference between their name and the person I really wanted to talk to.  No big deal though.  By the time we hang up I probably won't remember who I wanted to call in the first place.

Friday, February 6, 2004

Even The Surgeon General has it!

I think I may have contracted a disease.  I have a lot of symptoms.  Muscle stiffness, especially in the morning, diminishing eyesight, night blindness, decreased skin elasticity, forgetfulness, loss of hair pigmentation, weight gain, enlarged abdomen, sagging breasts, and flappy arms.  I've also noticed an increase in the desire for alcoholic beverages, especially wine, frequent intake of high calorie, high fat foods and a sudden fascination for warmer climates like Florida.  I haven't actually had the diagnosis confirmed by a doctor yet, but I'm pretty sure I know what it is, and even worse ... it's incurable and eventually fatal.  It's odd since so many people are suffering with it that there aren't any organizations soliciting research money to look for a cure.  In fact, the last person that I heard of who was actively looking for ANY kind of a treatment was Ponce DeLeon.  I'll have to tell the kids I guess.  I'm not sure how long I'll be able to continue working.  There may come a day when I'll have to stop altogether.  I think I may have gotten it from Ray.  I know HE'S been diagnosed...  I saw an AARP Card in his wallet.