Monday, December 31, 2012

Lessons I Learned in 2012

1. I had a TV show that was being pitched that didn't go forward. This has happened to me for the mteenth time. Truth of the matter is, for as upset as I was, I learned a lot from the experience. I learned that while it almost happened but didn't, I am almost there and that's what happened.

2. I left a post at a company I was at because things were starting to be unfair. While it was tempting to bad mouth my former bosses, I didnt. They taught me a lot, gave me a platform to be myself, and proved I could produce a weekly webshow on the regular. No experience is wasted if you use it wisely, bottom line.

3. While being an activist and standing up for what you believe in is wonderful, sometimes you need to keep your POV off of facebook. After five hours of fighting online you are "winning" like Charlie Sheen aka looking like an assweed.

4. Be where your feet are. Sometimes it is not so pleasant, but when you are there you can see that life is beautiful beyond your imagination.

5. Be happy for other people even when your life isn't going smoothly. When they get that job, that house, or that guy/girl maybe this is something they hoped and dreamed for their entire lives, and also, that accomplishment may be it for them.

6. Not everyone will be happy you succeed, and some of your so-called friends may tell you that you developed an ego when you have what is called confidence. Those so-called friends are not your friends. Don't feel any guilt in letting them go.

7. Everyone has different talents and gifts, no one has everything. So if someone drops the ball sometimes, it is not a reflection on you or them, it is life.

8. I published a book. Sometimes I still don't know how I pulled that one off. But what I do know is that I worked really hard, made the project the center of my world, and put one foot in front of the other and did the next right thing. Bottom line, it was a ton of work and nearly killed me. It was worth doing though and I am proud of myself.

9. Treat your body kindly, you only get one. Dental health especially is no joke. Don't ignore pain and hope it will go away. If it persists see a doctor. Also, thank your doctor. They work hard, study hard, and they probably won't earn a ton of money unless their loans are paid off. Most of the time they do want to help you.

10. Physical exercise is better than therapy.

11. While sleeping late is great dont make a habit of it. The world will pass you by and you'll miss out on a lot of great adventures.

12. You don't know as much as you think you do. Ask for help.

13. Don't be witty or funny at the expense of someone else. It's not humorous, it's cruel. At times you think they might think it's funny make sure you know the person well first, otherwise you might lose a good friend.

14. Respect law enforcement. This past year I had a fan stalk me. The expererience was scary, left me uneasy, and made me cry on the phone to my mother. I was so stressed I was unable to eat. Reporting the incident to the useless woman at the desk made me want to take up arms. However, when my detective called me was concerned and nothing short of lovely. He knew I was scared and did everything he could to help me. Detectives are legitimately concerned for their victims, and our men and women in uniform do their best to protect the people.

15. Know where you are going. Sometimes you cannot see the forest for the trees but it does get easier. Sometimes you just need a machete.

16. Talented and successful people are not afraid of other talented and successful people. While every organization has the so called cool kids, this isn't high school. You can be a cool kid by being yourself and doing the best job possible. I went to a friend's show at Caroline's and felt an anxious apartness because I was not "cool." Needless to say, the cool kids were not only kind to thank me for coming out and supporting, but also wanted to know more about my book and how I was publishing. Bottom line: the cool kids are people too.

17. Work hard and keep working hard. No one will make your dreams come true but you.

18. Check your ego at the door. Life is not fair. Sometimes no matter what you accomplished, there are rules you still must follow. Some people do not know who you think you are.

19. Keep setting goals and ask for feedback. Any feedback is good. Some is idiot, but there might be gold in there.

20. Entertainment is a marathon, not a sprint. And it is a marathon where the race ends in different places. Some people become standups and that's who they are. Others become actors. There are those who become writers. And then there are the folks who become agents, managers, club owners and behind the scenes folks. Of course, there is the population who uses their talents as motivational speakers etc. My point is, everyone is going in different directions. Keep your eyes on your goals. It evens out in the end, and most of the time everyone who finishes the race ends up working together.

21. My life and career are different than I thought they would be. This past year I have been on the OWN Network, have been on TV overseas, have been on TV overseas again, had a hit song on the internet, had a web show that almost got picked up, and wrote and published a book. It is not the destination but the journey that counts.

22. My friend Joe Cannava may have pushed me to write my book, but years before him my mom had asked me to do it and came up with the title. My dad is pushing me to write the musical and has scoped out my spot for my pic on the wall of Sardi's. Bottom line, parents have good ideas sometimes.

23. Technique is your friend. As a young artist I hated the idea of technique and breathing. Voice and speech were my worst classes. But now I see they are my most important. When all else fails and nerves take over or you have to sing on a special occasion, technique is all you have. And if you lose your voice you are dead. Thank you Erick Buckley, Scott Flaherty, and Jan Douglas for not choking the ever blessed life out of me. Years later I get you.

24. Do the best you can on every job. Even if it doesnt go the way you want, your hard work will open more doors.

25. Take a risk. I went into the corporate office of Barnes and Noble and gave them my book proposal. They informed me this was not usually done, but as a small press company I am now available on the website and will ultimately be in the store.

26. Treat everyone with compassion. You dont know what is going on with them.

27. No matter how much hell a former employer causes you, dont bad mouth them. It only makes you look bitter. Plus it may destroy your love for something that drives you. For a long time I was angry at the comedy club that dropped me after I put them on national television several times. As a result, it destroyed my love of comedy. I gave them too much power. Shame on me.

28. From bad comes something good. In 2009, my pilot didnt get picked up and a TV appearance fell flat. Doors slammed in my face. As a result I became a very good comedian and put away some good sets. I also became a supurb ventriloquist because I started performing on the street. In 2010, I was fired from a club I did a lot of work for and put on national televison several times. I was sort of blackballed in my own community for my "fame seeking." No matter, I made a movie, got a job as a talking head on the internet where I got PAID, got to perform for royalty and other high profile people, kept getting on TV, got my music on the radio and had an internet hit, and I wrote and published a book. None of that would have happened had I become a superstar at that dump.

29. If you want to diss someone, don't tell them off. Just pretend you don't know them. It's less drama and it hits them where it hurts. It's a trick my friend Chacho taught me. Maybe he didn't know how to stay off drugs or to stop breaking the law, but he knew that.

30. While it is nice to help the downtrotten, when someone is continully unlucky there is a reason for it. AVOID THEM!!!!

31. Always think and dream big. Never settle.

32. Always be careful what you say. My late friend Joe Cannava once told me that when I spoke people listened to me. People listen to all of us. What kind of impression do you want to leave.

33. Fresh socks and fresh underwear are your friends.

34. What a difference a shower and a good night sleep make.

35. When you fall on your ass get back up.

36. If reputation and character were to meet they would be strangers.

37. Never engage in gossip. It is character assasination and bullying. None of it is ever true. I was the subject of some terrible gossip, and someone who I had bad mouthed in the past stepped up to defend me. I am thankful they did but feel terrible. So terrible I make it my business not to trash talk.

38. A natural disaster like Sandy leaves you agitated that you are housebound. But so is everyone else, and some folks dont have power. Make the best of it. Because as always there are people who have it worse.

39. The only way around feelings is to talk through them.

40. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

41. Sometimes part of being an adult is doing adult things, like Jury Duty. Don't try to get out of it. If anything, it gives you more respect for the judicial system and the lawyers who work there. Also, it is like a bad open call and there is always drama. FREE SHOW!

42. Vote, vote, and vote again. Your voice counts, and you have no right to complain unless you cast a ballot.

43. Politics-unless the person is named Adolf Hitler or David Duke-do not define them. It takes many ideas-not just yours-to make the world go around.

44. Life is too short to hold a grudge. Anger causes cancer and is time consuming.

45. Once someone shows you their ass write them off.

46. Dont be afraid to make friends who are different than you. They have perspective and knowledge that you dont.

47. Hate only releases more hate, so when hate speech starts leave the room. It will only put you in  a bad mood.

48. When someone's life is continually chaotic, it means they are addicted to it and don't desire change. Run before they consume you.

49. If you meet someone once and don't like them, you might mee them years later and like them. People do change, and some of it might be you.

50. Being a part of an awards show is a privlege, not a right. You are enjoying what a person worked their whole life for. It is not just about a chance to party.

51. Family may drive you crazy, but in the end they will be the first ones there when things are bad and when things are good. Put them first.

52. Treat others like you want to be treated. Not only is it a golden rule, but it helps you win in the end in a deal.

53. Life is short and it is funny how the tables turn. In the past year I have seen many people who were mean to be, whether they are former classmates, other comedians, or former boyfriends, try to reach out and pretend that we are friends. The temptation to be cruel exists, but rather you should feel sorry for them. The days that they made you miserable were the greatest days of their lives and they are over, and your life just keeps getting better. Being cruel would be sinking to their level. Why would you want to give them the satisfaction that they even matter that much?

54. While it is wonderful to have an honest self examination, don't beat yourself up. We are all human and make mistakes and it keeps you from learning.

55. The only way to accomplish a goal is to do it.

56. Men who call a woman a man hater because she speaks out for other women are not only showing you that they think lowly of women, but are also modelling their lack of intelligence. Real men are not threatened by a smart woman who is able to stand up for others, that is why they consider Wonder Woman dead sexy.

57. When it comes to sports every man has a PhD. It is always an ice breaker with them.

58. No matter how nutty someone's religious belief is, the first amendment protects us all. There are people who follow their faith and try to be good people as well as all the bad people that follow as well. Every church, mosque, synagouge has their hipocrites but it also has people who truly want to do the right thing.

59. While there are some people who change, others never do. An ex of mine who was abusive wants to "apologize" when things are good in my life. He has shown me he is mentally unstable to the point I had to get a different mailing address. The key with people like that is to wish them well from a distance but to have no contact. It's not just for sanity but for your safety.

60. When life gets bigger, so does the stress. But it goes with career, personal, and spiritual growth. In the words of Spiderman, "With great power comes great responsibility."

61. Make a fool out of yourself once a day. Doing a strange, terrible version of Gangnam Style in Times Square got me on Korean TV.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback and ebook available on Amazon
Portion of proceeds go to Sandy Hook

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Flipped Out Exchange of the Day

I usually get fan mail from the following people.

1. Fans.

2. Former classmates, high school and college complimenting me on my success.

3. Other comedians/artists in other places who like me, want to reach out, and make friends.

Usually the exchanges are very nice and follow a certain pattern. This piece of fan mail was from a former classmate of mine that I went to middle school with. This fan letter came into my box and is quite memorable. So memorable that I still don't know how to respond.

I went to school with you. I also saw u on my strange addiction. You're puppets are creep out, but strangely turn on at the same time. But your show on bptv was lame as he'll, and you wore to muchlipstick .why puppets , I can understand alcohol, or dope, or anything else. Bot why puppets

You look like Marilyn Monroe . But not as beautiful, but who is as beautiful as her. Take it as a the way my last name is Jones

How do I respond to this? Do I go through and correct his grammar and then thank him for the backhanded compliments?

On second thought, I think I will just ignore him.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback and ebook available on
Portion of proceeds go to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, CT

The Kids Aren't Alright (The Offspring)

A few kids I graduated with seem to be having trouble-lots of trouble-with the law. As in they just keep on breaking it. I should be the last one admonishing anyone for breaking a law or two or three. After all, a year ago a man on the run stole my heart. Still, we all live and learn the hard way.

About a year ago, I found out the kid I sat next to in seventh grade reading is on a registered sex offender in my state. The charge, possession of kiddie porn. I remember him being such a sweet kid. He was my activity partner, occasionally we made fun of this goody goody in our reading class together. Later he took a job at the high school but kind of fell off my radar, that is, until then. I remember it was such a gross out that I posted about it on facebook. Everyone wanted to know who was the classmate collecting kiddie porn. My aunt's niece (aunt through marriage) said not only did he collect kiddie porn, but he lived a few blocks from her kid's school with his parents. Eek me the hell out. What happened to this dude? He was nice. He was normal. Apparently a  nice, normal, pedophile.

But he wasn't as bad as the other guy believe it or not. This dude was a year or two ahead of my brother and kind of odd. A lot of people just avoided him. I was an outcast so I never really looked down upon him. When I was eighteen, he sold me my winter coat before moving to NYC and said, "Are you going to become an actress? You are so perfect." Well we turn on the evening news and a  story breaks about a man who tried to get sex from a one year old child being pimped out by it's mother. They named the suspect and then they showed him. I said, "HOLY SHIT! THAT'S THE MAN THAT SOLD ME MY COAT!" We were all shocked. Then it got worse. They were going to bail him out but during a search the cops discovered a diary where he described the girls in the neighborhood-all under ten- and listed them with plans to molest them. Usually I am not for excluding people-especially knowing kids can be mean-but maybe the majority knew something in this case. Either way, they had to keep him in jail because the parents in the neighborhood formed a lynch mob and had plans to kill him. I think in a case like this they should have just been allowed. Pedophiles can't be helped. Why waste my tax money to cloth them and feed hem in jail?

But that's not the craziest one. I went to wish a former classmate of mine happy birthday and found out that people were saying that they missed him. Where was he? Answer, jail. Yes, jail. Apparently he didnt just go to jail but had made a Most Wanted List in Pittsburgh. While the bugh is not as big as the apple, if you make that list you did something bad. Turns out he committed a series of armed robberies. In a way this was no surprise. He had a rough home life with a dad who quit alcohol, became a complete Holy Roller, and was tough to tolerate, and a mom who slept with anything that walked and had several different children, all who looked like a UN add. In eighth grade, he had gotten into some trouble and ran away from home. While the world seemed big and bad, perhaps he had been through more than any of us ever would. They caught him, he went to Juvie, and sort of fell off my radar. Still, this is very sad. I remember him being more class clown and less asshole than most people. Plus a lot of folks in his group would lay into me from time to time, but he never did. Actually on two occasions, he told them to back off. Once, I was upset because I was late for class and thought I would get in trouble and he made up a story so believable we both got off. I stopped running and stopped lying, he is still running and lying.

His poor girlfriend leaves him notes on his facebook page professing her love and undying codependence. I just want to tell her, stop with the pathetic stuff, he will never stop breaking the law. Take it from a woman who dated a fugitive at one point. Take it from a woman who knows how they can't change and can still break your heart. Take it from someone who still misses him from time to time. But then I would encourage her. I would give her a hug.

And this is what I would say:

"Look on the bright side, at least he isn't touching kids."

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Available as an ebook on Amazon
Portion of proceeds go to Sandy Hook Elementary School

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Babies, Kids, The Whole Nine Yards

I recently visited the neighbor girl that used to baby sit me as a kid. She is married and lives with her husband in San Francisco. They brought their lil man Hudson. It was the big visit to Grandma and Grandpa in Pittsburgh. Hudson was the cutest little man. Well behaved, he was a keen observer. We gave him a Winnie the Pooh stuffed bear. Usually at that age, Winnie the Pooh is the big staple. It’s not scary and plus he won’t swallow anything. At eight months, Hudson is a fearless explorer like the river named after the British pathfinder. This Christmas, one of his discoveries was tissue paper. To Hudson, tissue paper is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Actually, it may even be better.

To attract him to the Winnie the Pooh bear, his possible future sleeping companion when he goes through the Boogey Man phase, his father shook the red tissue paper in the bag. Hudson, fascinated and ready for adventure, crawled towards the bag and tugged at the paper until it came out. There was more, and it would be work. So his father simply removed the rest of it and gave his little man the bear.

As old and jaded as I am, I couldn’t imagine being that small. I couldn’t imagine tissue paper being the world of the unknown, the exotic. I couldn’t imagine the world being so big. But I guess when you are crawling it is big and dangerous, and dogs are probably giant scary creatures as big as a T-Rex.

As Hudson went for the bear, crawling on all fours, the first stage of human development and ironically like the stuffed creature who was his gift, he bumped his head. As he crawled he bumped his head again, and again. Hudson didn’t cry. He didn’t even let out an inkling that it hurt. Little eight month old Hudson soldiered on.

As he kept crawling he kept bumping his head over and over again!

It was adorable in a way, because when he didn’t get it he had grit and determination to just keep going. Although little, you can tell he is a tough guy already. I gasped hoping the child wouldn’t get hurt. To Hudson it was no big deal. He was learning to crawl. His parents were good about it but I found myself having a small heart attack everytime he bumped his head. Football players bump their heads, but they wear helmets. If I bumped my head I would worry about brain damage and probably cry. In a way, Hudson is stronger than most adults. But still, that is a lot of head bumping. Wow.

I talked to my mother later. I asked her if the bumping of the heads is normal for children. She said it was actually very normal for children when they learned to crawl, and that is why parents with crawling infants put down carpeting and other padding so the little ones don’t get hurt and that they can explore safely. For as cute as Hudson was, a baby can sure give you a heart attack. They are high risk little creatures.

 Skipper was quick to point out that it made sense that a baby would hit it’s head learning to crawl. It’s head was the biggest part of the makeup and the rest of the body had to catch up. I asked my mother if she was prepared ahead of time for this as the oldest of six, her being seventeen years older than her baby brother. “No, you learn everything the first time with kids of your own.” My mom said.

We talked a little bit about a kid’s first year of life. My mom said that it took a while for a baby to sleep through the night. I asked her why babies just didn’t sleep like normal people. Skipper said their head was big, their body was little, and they had to almost triple their body weight within their first year of life. That is a lot of eating to do so that they could make those growth markers, and because their stomachs are so teeny they by-pass food quickly so they need to eat constantly. My mom added that until a child is two, if it doesn’t wake up on time you need to worry about things like crib death. She told us that when we didn’t wake up at exactly the same time she would panic. Babies are cute, but this is another way they give adults mini-heart attacks.

We talked about pregnancy. My mom said she was sick the entire time. I asked my mother why people did it more than once. My mom smiled and said, “Usually it is by accident.”

Then my sister Skipper told me when she was delivering babies in her medical school class with my brother Wendell-that less than two percent of the children she delivered were planned. Skipper informed me that many of the mothers insisted they used birth control. Apparently it does fail two percent of the time.

Oh no!

Weight gain, morning sickness, painful birth, no sleep, and then worrying if they might get injured or die in their crib in their first two years are a lot of stress. It’s not like it gets better. That is just the beginning. Kids cost money. You have to buy them clothes. You have to insure them in case they become ill. You have to buy them more clothes when they grow out of their clothes. You need to potty train them and not get angry when they go everywhere. Oh and when they learn to talk and learn to say no they get on your last nerve. Those are the times you want to send them into the woods and hope for the best. But then you don’t. Part out of love, but partly because Child Services doesn’t look kindly on the Hansel and Gretel parenting approach.

Of course there is school. There is not expecting a genius because you probably won’t get one, but praying they aren’t too horribly retarded. There are spelling words, math facts, reading books, science projects, the dreaded parent teacher conference and PTA. Oh and then there is hoping your kid makes friends and hoping they fit in. There is teaching them not to be bully meat and then hoping that they don’t master the lessons too well so that they become the bully.

Junior high is a nightmare. There is the whole clique thing, the whole dating thing, the whole hormone thing. And that goes with a bad attitude. That is knowing your kid will disobey you and disappoint you because they want to be adult. But they aren’t adults, and yet the big, bad world is beginning to beckon. It’s harder to get them to study and focus when some new hit show in on TV. It is acne and the crying if it’s a girl or the fist fighting stage if it’s a boy. And again, it’s not releasing them into the wild during this phase as well.

Then there is high school. They aren’t as bratty. But now there are new worries. They want to date and be unsupervised. You now run the risk of getting an early grandchild. There is learning to drive and hoping they don’t crash and hoping their friends are safe drivers. And then there is the whole after school activities and finding what is right for them. There are college visits, college apps, refinancing the home so you can pay for college because FAFSA is a freaking joke if you don’t live in a box.

After that they go to college and you hope that they don’t flunk out or meet their premature end during a night or partying. There is hoping that again they don’t get pregnant, don’t get mono, don’t get sick with something with you so far away. But now you are releasing them into the wild and hoping for the best because they are over eighteen. The wild of being away and new ideas. You hope they remember their roots, remember your values, and remember to wear fresh underwear every day. You also hope you can pay for the next semester. And you wish they were little again, but then you remember that was no free lunch either.

The next step is the journey to adulthood, where you worry about them being gainfully employed and finding a partner who treats them well and doesn’t use them as financial support or as a punching bag. You worry about them being on their own and hoping they are good people, at least you tried, right? You hope that they don’t break the law because now they can really punish them. You hope someone doesn’t hurt them. You hope they are making good decisions. Hope is the key word here, because now you can’t change their minds.

And then when they raise their kids, they don’t want to listen to anything you say. What do you know? You only had a few of your own. But now you can be grandma and give them candy when Mom and Dad aren’t looking.

I don’t understand why teenagers just have sex and think it’s going to be easy once they have a baby. It sounds like hard work and quite frankly, horrific if you aren’t ready. I asked my mother why anyone wanted kids as I laid out all the things you have to go through and how sometimes they are a headache. She said, “Kids make you laugh and are funny. And Hudson is soooo cute.”

Yes, Hudson is cute. Cute and a lot of work.

Kids are cute, and a lot of work.

I’m cute and I’m a lot of work. Ask my mom.

I think I can wait until I am about one hundred to have children. In this day and age it seems nothing is stress free and safe, not even an elementary school.
I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
877-Buy-Books (both hardback and ebook)
Portion of proceeds go to the children's library at Sandy Hook Elementary School

Friday, December 28, 2012

Messy Hair....

Yesterday morning started with a temporary crown on my tooth. Yes, me going to the dentist and him sticking a needle in my palate, actually two. Then they tried to ply my other temporary thingie off with pliers and when that didnt work they drilled. Despite the numbing it still hurt because it is your freaking nerve. Anyway, they also made me put this thing in my mouth for five minutes. YUCK! After that I went to the rest room because mind you it wasnt even nine in the morning yet when they were doing this. I looked in my mouth and my toof was gone!!!!! I say toof because I feel like the Jamie Foxx character from In Loving Color, the boxer who's name slips my mind. I freaked the hell out! Needless to say they assured me I was getting a temporary crown. So my toof looks almost normal. I just can't chew anything sticky or chew iced cubes. Well they didnt tell me how limited my diet would be. Yesterday was spent living on chili.

Where are Jack and Diane with their chili dogs when you need them under the shady tree? Oops, I wasnt able to eat hot dogs.

My book talk was scheduled last night and it seemed I had all the elements working against me. The day before there was a giant snow storm and the whole town looked like a winter wonderland. A winter wonderland is fun to look at and sled in, but you forget it is a bitch to shovel. Not to mention Mema Ralph had chest pains and had to go to the hospital.

In the end it all worked out. My book talk had a good turn out. I had twenty six people there. Some had read the book and were asking all sorts of questions. Some had not. It was nice to see Becky Sedlock again. It had been a while since I had seen her. She seems to be doing well, about ready to buy her first house. Becky was all grown up. Her brother got married too, and both her siblings were doing adult things. I was like wow, all these years later it is so cool to see her. Plus it was cool to see the Bulger Bruckers, the Bethel Bruckers, and my Godmama. Did I mention it was awesome to see Baldini?

The talk was a success, and it was nice to be back at Bethel Park Library after all these years. I entered through the door. During my days at the access station I used to enter through the basement, next door to the courthouse and adjacent to the police as well. I was happy with the turn out despite the weather, and we had some press which was mondo McAwesome. Plus May Wilson had a few minutes to shine.

Woman is hard to control. She told Richard Crawdaddy to get well. Baldini was there to record.

Well after the book talk I was dropped back to reality. When I got home the pain set in from the dental work I had done that morning. It was time for Advil and time to eat the chili that would most likely run down my face. Plus I had to pack for an early flight. Then off to La La Land.....

That's when I woke up and things really started to get cray cray. Mema Ralph had been admitted into the ICU that morning and they said they she had flat lined. So we had to wake my dad up to go to the hospital because one of my aunts believed my Mema to possibly be near death or dead. To make matters worse, my dad is not a morning person. So my aunts were asking my sister Skipper who is in medical school what was going on and she was filling them in and mind you this is all before five in the morning.

So we are pretty sad and it is a question of whether we should go back to our cities: me to New York and Skipper to Providence when we receive a phone call from one of my aunts that my Mema Ralph is in fact breathing and she is doing okay. However, this forty-eight hours will be critical. Still, that is a big step up from dead which was good. But Skipper, my mom, and I all just were like, "WOW!!!!" I will be keeping my Mema in my prayers. She is eighty-eight, she hates being in the nursing home, and she just wants to go back to her house. I can understand that. Still this morning was intense, scary, draining, and made me feel like I ran a marathon before 5:30 am.

Skipper of course felt a little sad because this summer she had a patient who seemed fine, an older woman, and her vitals even checked out. As a physician in training, Skipper had told the family the woman was fine and other doctors on the floor had too. Within minutes the woman however, unexpectedly had a complication and died. Skipper who's capacity to feel and care surpasses anyone I have ever met to the point of being slightly codependent was having a flashback of sorts and crying in the airport, overflowing with empathy. I had to give Dr. Sco a hug. Poor little thing.

I found myself wanting to cry myself and then bang my head against the wall. Cry because I am terrified for my Mema Ralph but bang my head against the wall because it is so much at once so early in the morning. Then it occurred to me, my temporary crown may fall out.

Just when I think my morning is over, I get to my gate. The show is over now, right?

Oh no.

A few summers ago I worked retail before graduating from college. There was this horrid woman who worked on display. Her hair was blood red and it looked like it was cut by your local weed whacker. Anyway, she was always trying to get me fired because she was insane. Her husband apparently had just "disappeared." Some say he ran off, I think she killed him. She accused me of wrecking her displays on ten different occasions when I was innocent. Finally one day I just got sick of her and decided I would give McCray Cray something real to cry about. I did by giving her display a huge shove. They fired me.

Well there she was. Her hair was no longer blood red but some disaster combination of highlights and low lights. She had the same crazy eye makeup, and a husband who wore a pink shirt which was too much for me to comprehend that early.

I thought of bitchy things to say. They went as follows:

1. "Remember the time I wrecked your shiteous display? Well I wrote about it in MY BOOK!"

2. It's been a long time. I didnt recognize you with that passable hair. Did they change your meds?

3. Are you still doing display? My friends design displays in New York City. But then again, it actually requires talent to work in that market.

4. I remember when your last husband just disappeared. I am so glad to see that you have moved on.

5. Are you going to Fashion Week? I have been twice. Once with Alex Wang and once with Betsey Johnson. Ooops, you have to be invited.

As I brainstormed bitchy things to say it occurred to me that this woman was not worth my time and energy. While it would be great to get the best of her, the better revenge was living well. She looked like she was painted, a nobody trying to be somebody.

That's when one of Chacho's best quotes popped in my head, "A nobody trying to be somebody is the worst kind of nobody there is."

And that's when another Chacho maneuver came to mind. If this woman were to engage me I would use the, "Excuse me, who are you again? I don't believe I know you." Chacho explained it was the gay beings shady way of dealing with crazy people once.

I didnt need to do it. Instead we met eyes once and she just had this pissed off look in her face, as if she couldnt face me. Or she wanted to chew me out for wrecking her display but knew in her mind she got her medicine and I could serve it up again. Still, it was wild to see someone I rightfully smeared in my book on the flight.

Oye vey. I am back in my city and it is cold as one of the layers of hell in Dante's Inferno.

Traffic was a mess.

I need a day off and it hasn't even started yet.

One more cup of coffee, a bagel, and a brush.

Cause I have messy hair.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

Portion of the proceeds go to Sandy Hook Elementary School until January 7, 2013.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Growing and Changing: My Christmas Blog

Christmas sometimes is a holiday for the young. I guess it is the whole Santa thing. A white haired guy breaks all physical barriers and slides down the chimey despite his size and the fact it killed the girl's father in Gremlins 2. Adults find fault. Children believe readily.

The whole concept of growing and changing started yesterday. My Aunt Jeanie's dog is getting bigger. I mean bear size. Burlgars beware. My cousins Colt and Legran are getting older in school. One injured his foot doing Parkour in the back yard to his mother's chagrin. Then my cousin Mindy announced she was pregnant.

Not just pregnant with one baby but WITH TWINS!!! Wait a hot minute. Does your mother know? Did you tell your husband? I remember when she was a beautiful dancer with city ballet and weight gain let alone pregnancy were the last things she wanted. Now she will be gaining plenty of weight. Now she will be eating all the iced cream and pizza she was never allowed to eat as a dancer. But twins! How time flies. This is insane. I thought it was insane when Wendell married Veronique. Now Wendell is talking about his feelings. This is all too much as my grandparents have not one great grandchild but three.

Meara was with her boyfriend, yes a steady in Georgia. Skipper is graduating medical school and going to be a real doctor. She's bright. She's an adult. But in my eyes she is still my baby sister, slipping in my bed when she has nightmares at seven years old; taking my covers. Kicking me. Being the worst bed fellow ever. But now she is no longer Skipper but Dr. Skipper.

My grandfather got his eyes fixed and he read my whole book. So age is changing some for the better.

On my dad's side my cousin Jayce's boyfriend saw me on Korean TV. I like Brendan. I hope he sticks around. I can wait for a wedding. Jennika also has a boyfriend. She is so young I don't know that it is serious. Mema wants a grandbaby though. Rob Fran, my trumpet playing cousin, released his first album but will probably be a bachelor forever. It's not that he doesn't love you baby, he loves everyone. The curse of those of us born under Libra. My grandma asked me and I was like hell no! Baby would be the last thing I wanted. Then she asked about my cousin Kacie who has been with her boyfriend Mike forever. Oh no. Kacie wants to travel the world and possibly get breast implants because her cousin on the other side did. I think she is a snappy lil number but oh well....

But then she said Kristoff would get married-yes the quiet trombone player in the Notre Dame band. The one Manti T'eo signed the Heisman ball for. And we all burst out laughing. Kacie, Mike and I discussed the wedding. We said it would be a duress, disaster, and a surprise. Who would do such a thing? Not me.

My baby cousin's, all four adopted from Russia, are growing up so quick. I remember them when they were small. They were checking the weather in Moscow. Nineteen degrees. That's warm for this time of year and it is only getting colder. Thank God for America.

My baby cousin Matthew, who I remember when he was little but not so little anymore, made the high school All-Star Team.

My other cousin Jesse and my cousin Apollo danced to a Wii game, while Andre played on his phone. Yes, that is what the kids are getting.

I feel old in some ways. Sophisticated that I am accomplishing things. But still unsure of how to handle this whole grown up thing with dignity and grace. Sometimes it is great to know I have freedom, sometimes it sucks because if I break the law they can stick a needle in my arm-no, not the stuff to get me high. The stuff to kill me. As time flies I want to know what happened to my youth and some of my dreams. Granted, sometimes they were more work than intended but still, what happened to time?

As part of me forges ahead and talks about my plans I feel like a Peter Pan's Lost Boy Rufio being left behind in the fairy dust. Despite my TV time I don't own a TV or bed because they cost money. I may always be poor and have surrendered myself to that. I have no husband or man in my sites. I might never marry let alone have children. It's just my puppets, my books, my jokes, my stage time, my TV appearances, and a warm cup of tea and Lifetime Movie in a chilly winter's eve.

But then my Mema, who is trying to break out of the nursing home, who defies doctor's orders tells me she catalogues all the books she reads. The journal is kept in her underwear drawer. I am entry 2000. She has done this practice since she was a little girl. Somethings never change. And it is all for the better.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Girl
Available on Amazon

Come to my book signing
December 27, 2012 @ 7pm (tomorrow)
Bethel Park Library
5100 West Library Ave
Bethel Park, PA 15102

Monday, December 24, 2012

My Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer: It Happened to Me

As written by Eve Warden and told to April Brucker

It was Christmas Eve and my dear sweet grandmother was walking home from our house. Actually she wasn't dear and sweet. She was a bit of a bitch. She told us that we were all destined to hell and my dad said she used to beat him with a metal pipe and refused him medical care when he was sick because it saved money. But for the sake of the song we made her a dear sweet woman.

Anyway, she used to fake being handicapped but she would walk when it got her things. Well this Christmas Eve it got her run over. My grandmother was actually headed home from the bar where she was hitting on an old sailor and telling him that she was a widow (my grandfather jumped out a window. He said a divorce was too stressful). Anyway while she was there a local drunk claims a man named Kris Kringle was getting rather trashed on some egg nogg and other holiday cheer and joked about getting behind the wheel of a sleigh. No one believed him about being Santa. They assumed he was like every other drunk in the bar: fat, unemployed and with a tall tale to tell. But this drunk stood out, he had all of his teeth.

My grandmother hit on him. After all, he did have all his teeth. The man apparently spoke about his wife. And then he said he had some ungrateful workers named Elves who were unionizing, and PETA was cracking down on him for his treatment of the reindeer.

Well my grandmother left the place. And staggered home drunk. Santa was drunk and wanted her number because apparently he couldn't stand his wife. Well he was in his sleigh and apparently was the real thing. But because he was drunk he couldn't quite drive clearly and ran over my grandmother!!!!

She was lying in the road dead as a door nail. It was Comet that killed her. Yes, the assweed that left Rudolph out of the Reindeer Games. But no charges were pressed because no one knows whether Santa is real or not, despite the fact that they won in court in Miracle on 34th St.

But I believe in Santa.

While he had too much to drink and killed my grandmother, she was a real bitch and was hardly missed. Not to mention we made a killing on a hit song. No pun intended.

Cause my grandma got run over by a reindeer

(Note: April's grandmother's are lovely. One traveled the world, and the other is currently on page 195 of her book I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl available on Amazon)


White Christmas (Bing Crosby)

It snowed a few days ago and it is supposed to snow again tonight. The ground looks like it has pieces of sugary baking powder. I want a White Christmas. It would make my Christmas wish come true.

Yesterday it was Christmas Central at Casa Brucker. We baked cookies for close to four hours and decorated the tree for two. None of the decorating was done. My mom and sister Skipper were at Duke checking out her residency places thus being away. I love my dad but him doing a home improvement project alone is a disaster. So we all had to do the decorating together as a team. After cookie baking and decorating I felt like my head was going to explode. NO MORE! Do you know the holidays are the highest suicide and homicide times? People just get fed up. And did I mention I went to the mall before that?

I woke up this morning and felt better. The plot thickens with my former classmate. He wrote me to tell me that he did not drop out of high school but graudated with a three point two. Not to mention he was never in PE because he played basketball. And he didn't want anything serious with me. He had a kid and didn't want to confuse him. He just wanted to have fun. Good deal, fun is okay. Plus he said while his son was an accident he was a good accident. I felt bad about getting the info messed up. I didn't know him that well and made assumptions. When you assume you make an ASS out of U and ME. But he seems like he is probably a good dad. I remember him being a good dude. I was also sad when he left ultimate frisbee. He was tall and could run fast. We had an advantage. Plus it was funny to see the bad girl of the Forensics league go after him. I mean, she was blantant, bumping into him and overtly flirting. It was my entertainment for the afternoon. I have spoken to her since high school and she is always supportive of me. Thank God we have all grown up.

The whole thing made me ashamed. Shows how self-aborbed I was then and tend to be now.

But as for guys with kids, they are a slippery slope as I learned this year. Almost dated one and the kid learned I had been on TV and suddenly was asking his dad what I could buy him assuming I was rich. Yes, I am sorta famous, emphasis on the sorta, but rich, hells no. The kid wanted a pool, a convertible. I was like kid, you can get these things when I do. Before that I need to buy myself a bed and a TV SO I CAN WATCH MYSELF. Do you know how many times people have asked me if I saw myself on TV? The answer was no because I can't afford one. So I tell my friends, invite me over and I will burn you dinner. We can watch me together.

On the flipside, this is the season about giving. For as much as this holiday has driven me crazy, I am starting to get into it. I picked out the outfits for my mother, sister, and myself. I am looking forward to seeing my family. It was a pleasure to give my Mema her sweaters and glasses even though she has been the bain of the existance of every doctor and nurse there is. I will head to church with my family tonight. Then we will have a fish dinner.

Perhaps Rudolph will be on. The poor thing was born with a red nose that glowed and everyone made fun of him. The beginning when they don't let him take part in the Reindeer Games makes me cry. Even when Santa says the nose will work against him. And it breaks my heart that he runs away. But then in the end he saves Christmas. And I bet he gets a mansion and never invites Coach Comet. I hope he marries Clarice. She was sweet. Maybe it's because I was made fun of and disincluded for being different. Or maybe I am weird and have estrogen. But Rudolph should have sued them all for pain and suffering. I know he would now.

Maybe Frosty will be used as an argument for evolution and coincidence by the atheists.

But I did watch Miracle on 34th Street and The Bishops Wife in black and white and both were lovely.

Either way, I have to go. Much to be done.

I no longer abhor this holiday but am starting to look forward to it. Now where is the dancing snow man to sing, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!"

Nevermind, I will settle for Bing Instead.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

Come to my book signing
December 27, 2012 @ 7pm
Bethel Park Library
5100 W. Library Ave
Bethel Park, PA 15102


Sunday, December 23, 2012

"I Wanna Meet You In a Dark Room"

For the past two and a half years-since being on TLC with my puppet kiddies-I have had guys come out of the wood work from my past to ask me out. Some have been comedians who met me once at an open mic night. Others had known me from a college lecture. But there have been several from high school. One made fun of me really bad. The other I never met. But this recent one had been in  a gym class of mine and hardly ever came.

Yes, we only had two classes together, neither of which he really showed up for. We only spoke twice and I remember generally liking him. But as the years passed and I left home to pursue my goals he became one of the many memories that defined high school. And even then they were faded between play rehearsals, nursing home dates with my Groucho Marx figure, tapings at the access station, articles for the youth section, literary magazine, and of course my weekend job bagging groceries at the Giant Eagle.

Fast forward almost ten years later. I have achieved some of my goals while many are just dreams. One of my goals and dreams was writing and publishing a book. I did. It's available in my local library as well as Amazon. Anyway, I was sending out the invites for the book talk. My former classmate writes me back, "I wanna meet you in a dark room. HMU."

HMU means two things: hide my unicorns or hit me up. Then it occurs to me, this boy is talking about a unicorn, and not the kind children are meant to see.

Meet me in a dark room to do what? It certainly isn't to read. You can't do that in a dark room. When I told my sister Skipper about this she said, "Wasnt he bad?" Well yes and no. He was bad but got in trouble for never showing up to class. So he caused his trouble elsewhere. I remember the bad girl of the Forensics Club trying to accidentally bump into him during the one time he came to frisbee in gym class. Then he disappeared.

So I wrote him back. I figured I would invite him to my book talk like I would any crazed male admirerer and fan. I just have to be careful, but I don't think he's homicidal. That involves showing up and planning. He writes me back and says, "U hav to make the 1st move. I am kina shy." Well the fact you never showed up at school is beginning to make itself apparent in your grammar, Sir.

I don't write back. What am I supposed to say?

He writes me back telling me he is intrigued and misspells the word. While nothing turns me off like horrendous grammar, his bravery is quite sexy. Yes, he has a kid. Yes, he was a high school drop out. Yes, he never came to school and this could only end badly. Yes, I would probably date him. Oh dear God get a hold of yourself woman!!!! Then I see he has a baby mama and I don't do that drama and I decided it was all over.

However, Christmas is the season about giving. While this whole thing made me laugh, it also made that awkward high school girl in me smile, the one with a lot of ambition and a lot of bad makeup. The one who played with puppets, produced TV programs, and proved that yes, too much eyeliner and mascara can be a horrid thing. In a time in my life where a date was a dream that never came true and guys were more likely to ask me for the plot on the book they read for English class than to be on their arm for homecoming, I felt that part of me smile and get a lil sexy.

Perhaps puppets and books are sexy and there are guys in this world who think so, or perhaps thought so all along.

Either way, it gave my self esteem a boost.

Season's Greetings.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

Come to my book signing
December 27 @ 7pm
Bethel Park Library
5100 W. Library Ave
Bethel Park, PA


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Santa Claus is Coming to Town (Bruce Springsteen)

It's cold here in the burgh, or should I call it the BURRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Okay, maybe not. That was the closest I have come to a hack joke in a while. I woke up this morning and it was cold. Dante spoke about a layer of hell being ice. I think we have entered that layer. The world didn't end and I am actually okay with that. The descendants of the Mayans said it was a hoax. Still, it is cold here.

My mom informed me we were going Christmas shopping at the mall. She asked what I wanted. I told her World Peace. She said, "April, I don't think they sell that at South Hills Village." Then off we went.

We got to the mall and everyone and their mother had the same idea. Our assignment was to get something for my grandfather. Then of course matching Christmas outfits for my mom, my sister Skipper, and myself. My mom and I have two different shopping styles. We are both Libras but it comes out at different times. My Libra comes out in my quest for creativity and social justice, hers comes out in creativity but also indecision. What I mean is, I know what usually will work and what will not by looking at the outfit. My mother on the other hand tries on most of the store and then still can't decide. So she dropped me off at NY and Company to pick out the Christmas outfits while she went to the vitamin store.

I saw a black sweater that was perfect along with two runners up, one purple (Advent Theme) and one Christmas silver. The purple advent I got for me and the silver was too much work. The black would go perfectly with stretch pants, a belt and heals. So my mom came back, I tried them on and presto! She loved it. Then she went to do another errand and I picked out a red belt and stretch pants for the three of us. None of us are over five four, Skipper and I hitting it on the mark while my mother is less than five feet, so the challenge was finding a smaller size. But it was accomplished. My mom liked the belt, the earrings, and everything else.

So we get in the car to go home. Skipper and my dad are waiting. My sister is doing whatever she is doing, her shopping done, and my father is working. But we can feel them getting hungry.

On our way home we get behind the car from hell with the retarded driver possibly on medical marijuana. He is moving slow and my mom honks at him. The moron proceeds to move at bottom speed and then this kid who looks like Ralphie from A Christmas Story looks back. I told my mother to stop honking, it was only going to make them go slower. The morons would not speed up and I would tell that they were talking about us. So my mom, pissed as ever, lays it on the horn and starts honking. So these assholes are now in asshole mode and stop in the middle of traffic as to try to get my mother to run into the backs of their car and possibly sue her. Actually, they werent that smart, they just wanted to piss her off.

Now I am mad. I am really mad. Sure my mother is a rage driver but no one messes with her. The Brucker's are like the Bundy's, no matter how insane we always back each other's play. So I roll down my window and like a woman of dignity begin spouting profanity at these dickwads. I scream, "YOU LOW PLAYING MUTHERFUCKERS, YOU ARE FUCKING LUCKY YOU ARE HIDING BEHIND THE WHEEL OF YOUR CAR!!!!!" Then I proceeded to scream their license plate number as I copied it down. They sped away from us ASAP.

I asked my mother what we were going to do with the plate number. She said just keep it. I proposed slashing their tires. She proposed hiring a hit man. I pointed out that a hitman would be costly. She said she didn't have that money. I also pointed out that they were a pain in the ass because you had to pay them before, and after, and hoped that they didn't sing like a songbird if the job got screwed up. Plus if she found God in this holiday season and cancelled the hit they might take her to court like the one in West Virginia did. My mother agreed. There would be no hit men. This was all just too messy.

Well I am safely back in the nest with my new outfits and look better than those morons in front of us ever would.

Tonight we are going to church and then to visit my Mema in a nursing home. She is not happy about being there and was letting my dad know about it earlier. It has nothing to do with her noncompliance with any doctor's order whatsoever mind you. To top it off her bottom dentures have disappeared and no one can find them. But she was screaming at my dad. After the car ride home I can only think, "She is mad, she is old, and she is missing her dentures. Tony Soprano's mother was in the same boat. She hired a hit man. Watch out dad."


And then to decorate the tree and Christmas cookies.

Move over Griswalds. The Brucker's are in town.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

Come to my book signing
December 27 @ 7pm
Bethel Park Library
5100 W. Library Ave
Bethel Park, PA 15102

Friday, December 21, 2012

Bah Humbug!

The holidays are here and I am already over XMas. This morning I went to the airport. I managed to get out of bed early, well earlish almost being saved by the bell after a fun night of radio and pAArtying with the guys on CFR. I jumped in a cab and screamed, "STEP ON IT!"

I get to the airport and the line is almost a mile long! It is six in the damn morning. WOW!!!! I GOT THERE AN HOUR EARLY. IT IS ALWAYS PLENTY OF TIME. SHIT I AM GOING TO MISS MY FLIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I tell myself not to panic. My cab driver-a sweet Haitian man-told me not to panic. But it is too late, I am panicking as is the entire damn place. Well then they have the people leaving before 7 am make a line. We do but the thing is that the line isnt moving. So then we ask why the line isnt moving and we are getting testy. Some people are getting last call for their flights. We are asking what is going on and this West Indian bitch who talks too loud is telling us to calm down and mind our own business.

So the line starts to move. We all get shifted and are in a hurry. This guy tries to cut in front of me an has the nerve to say, "Excuse me, I was in front of you. You cut the line."

I turned and said, "I did not cut the line, you were trying to cut in front of me." What I meant to say was eat shit you granola eating douche bag but it is Christmas and I am trying to work on my gratitute. So then this bastard mouths off and says, "You know lady, I have a 7 am flight too."

Now I am on the border of using my mixed martial arts to let this dickwad know who is boss. He is trying to cut in front of me and pick on me because I am a woman travelling alone. I said, "Listen, if you are picking on me because I am a woman I think you are pathetic. I did not have my coffee yet." This jerkoff did not know what to say. Instead he stood there.

We all put our things through security as a woman in a wheel chair came through followed by a parade of women in wheel chairs. This jerkoff was not done. He was just getting started. He has the nerve to say to the woman wheeling the old woman, "Why does she get to go ahead of us? She is just a person and we are a bunch of people."

"Because she takes more time." The gate attendant explained.

"I would walk if I could." The old woman snapped at him.

As this jerkoff was huffing and puffing I turned around and said, "It's called civil rights. She's handicapped." I snapped. Again he shut up. He was quiet for the rest of the security check. Thank God because I was getting dangerously close to committing a felony. While I wasnt the only one who probably has wanted to deck him, if I got arrested I wouldnt get to see my Mama. I'll let a biker do the honors somewhere. Plus as fierce as I am his right hook is better.

Going through security was stressful because everyone was shoving their things in. Then I had to race to my gate without my shoes. As I am without my shoes some fat thing on a motor scooter who was riding that thing because she was over six hundred pounds tried to run over my foot. Lady, you arent handicapped, you are just fat. Maybe after you have three Big Macs as a snack you need some affirmations because you have let the waist line get out of control. She had the nerve to say, "MOVE IT!" I wanted to inform her that I did not hold her chocolate bar or the box of pizza that she had as her breakfast. But the fight in me was gone.

As I got on the plane I saw the guy I got into it with. He was just about as beat as I was. It seems the holidays put Miracle Grow on everyone's defects of character. He didnt look at me. I didnt want him too. I just think we both wanted this trip over with.

I got on my plane which was delayed on the runway. In between there I slurped down some coffee. Then I got home where it is snowing. From the inside it looks like a snow globe, on the outside it is windy and annoying.

Did I mention I already did some of my shopping and it is insane? We need to get my Mema a certain sweater and some of the colors looked like death. She just had a health care and is in a nursing home. SHE DOES NOT NEED A DEATH COLORED SWEATER BURLINGTON COAT FACTORY. THESE ARE MY NEEDS. LISTEN TO THEM!!!!!!!!

But all my shopping is not done.

I can't wait until Christmas is over. The Carols are killing me. Maybe I will convert to Judaism and celebrate Hannakah. Eight days of presents. Rich, good looking men. But then I realize they have their own holidays they hate with a passion. That I would not be off the hook. And that Hannakah Harry enters through the front door and not the chimney which is kinda lame.

Oh well.

Happy holidays

Bah Humbug

And I am too tired for a visit from any spirits.

April E. Scrooge
I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

Come to my book talk
December 27, 2012 at 7
Bethel Park Library
5100 W. Library Ave
Bethel Park PA 15102

Thursday, December 20, 2012

World Ends (Britney Spears)

In May of 2011 I believe the world was supposed to end. All week I had heard this hooplah about how the sky was supposed to darken by these nuts in the subway giving out pamphlets. I was like, whatever. I didnt believe it. No one with a brain did. However plenty of brainless nuts believed it. There were people giving away their savings and worldly possessions in case of the Rapture and in case Jesus descended. In my experience not once has Jesus descended on schedule but maybe he might one of these days. He is like a celebrity in a way. He is put on the guest list but only shows up when he pleases, and has a set of psycho fans. Not bad for a hot guy in an S and M pose who is shirtless and would be a better fit for a gay club than a place of worship. It's ironic how many of his followers are anti-gay. I mean, come on.

Anyway, the day had been chirpy and sunny and I had been getting ready to do a gig in Jersey. I had to meet my ride Craig Loydgren in Staten Island. As I waited for him I saw the sky darken. Sure I had been a naysayer all week. But now the sky was starting to darken and the clouds were coming in. Maybe the world was going to end after all. Maybe we were going to experience the Rapture. I was filled with wonder and panic. Where were the Four Horsemen Jesus had spoken of in Revelations. As the sky darkened and the fear began to fill my system I heard a small child ask, "Is the world ending."

I figured maybe I should recite a childhood prayer or something just in case. I half assed a Hail Mary as the sky continued to get darker and darker and then to my chagrin NOTHING HAPPENED!!!!!! I WAS DISAPPOINTED. WHAT KIND OF APOCALYPSE WAS THIS?!?!?!!?!?? THIS SUCKED MAJOR END OF THE WORLD KIND OF ASS!!!!

Maybe it was God playing with our simple minds and it was like a movie where you think something will happen and then it doesnt. 

On our way to the show at Andy Julia's venue Craig and I joked about the world ending and how it didnt happen and how we were disappointed. While we were both moderately intelligent people who highly doubted it when the sky darkened we did wonder. So on our long trekk we called Rich Carucci. Rich is our buddy and we love him. Like us if the world did in fact end he would be destined to roast in the pits, hence his spot on the Pig Roast with Otto and George along with yours truly and May Wilson.

So we called him. Craig put me on speaker. Craig and I asked, "Rich, did you get saved?"

To which Rich replied, "Hell no, I will be telling dick jokes tonight!" And the three of us burst out laughing. The world did not end but all was right in the world. Rich was telling dick jokes, I was on my way to a gig with Craig and we were making fun of people we didnt like. 

When I got to the gig I got to meet Andy Julia and his wife. We joked about how bummed we were that the world did not end. Then I took the stage and asked everyone, "Did you think the world was going to end? If the world ended we would never have to pay rent, taxes or any sort of bills. We could screw our jobs and mouth off to our bosses because we wouldnt have to worry about getting fired. Do you think we could be that lucky? Hell no." To my surprise the audience laughed and very hard. 

I then went up the road where Craig had another gig where Pete Michaels was headlining. He had his puppet children just like I have mine. All was right with the world. It was all good. 

Do I think the world will end? Probably not. We couldn't be that lucky as I said.

A few weeks ago I was joking around with my dad who has a wicked sense of humor. I told my dad after he made a funny but evil crack about a hunched back waiter that he was going to hell. My dad replied, "Well when I get there I will be working as Satan's lawyer which means I will be running the place so you better be nice to me."

Translated, when the world ends and I go to hell which I know I ain't going to heaven, I will be well connected. 

Maybe I could even get a date with one of the Four Horsemen.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Available on Amazon

Come to my book signing
December 27, 2012 @ 7pm
Bethel Park Library
5100W Library Ave
Bethel Park, PA 15102

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fighter (Kelly Clarkson)

My entire life I have been a fighter. As a kid it was because the mean spirited kids would pick on me for the way I talked or dressed. In middle school it was to fend off the mean girls and their male posse because my parents didn't allow me to date. In high school it was fending off haters-many who now work in fast food or pump my gas-in a way they still win because they could spit in my food and I depend on them-because I was myself. Then in college it was to fend off the dramaramas who were artistes with no substance when I knew who I was. In comedy it was to fend off the snobby Montreal bound clean cut men and the women who wrote clever acts whining about their womanhood that snickered behind my back trying to censor my expression. Sometimes this crossed over to club owners and bookers who believed that just because I was a woman comedian I automatically wanted to sleep with them-especially not minding when they attempted to slip their hands up my shirt unprompted. Or there was the ex-fiance who made my life a nightmare stalking me and had his ex girlfriends join in-not that he had anything going for him-and it is called stalking bi-proxy by the way. Then there was the death of my two friends, Joe and Chacho. In that mix there is the hustle I call the city.

As a kid I did martial arts. Our mother got us involved after our brother got into a brawl of sorts with some kids at his elementary school. A mean spirited kid and his goons were picking on another kid. My brother Wendell helped the kid who was being used as a punching bag by turning off the lights in the boys bathroom, because my mother taught us never to tolerate anyone being bullied or being left out for any reason. Well Wendell's kindess backfired, because they soon came for Wendell. He got a black eye and a few bruises. Needless to say my mother wanted blood. My father said he needs to know how to fight. Enter the dragon aka karate.

My mother took us every Saturday where she was all about the karate thing with all the gusto in the world. We did double classes which tired us out. I really didnt like it much, probably because not only was I doing double class but because my mother told the karate master to treat us as if we were his own children. It was intense, almost too much for me at that age. My sister started at four because my mother lied and said she was six, and Skipper would periodically fall asleep in the back of class. Our master took it in stride. He used to jump down my throat because I hated basics, detested forms, and most of all was horrible at one step. My master told me to try harder. I was like, "Hell no. I didnt come here for the forms. I didnt come here for the one step. I certainly am stomaching the basics. I came here for the free sparring."

I was good at the free sparring. It let me be a fighter. It let me get the aggression I needed to get out of my system on to the open air. Free sparring was what actually made karate worthwhile. I just couldn't deal with the other stuff.

I even quit karate for a time because I just felt stifled by the one step, the forms, the basics. They bored me to hell. I wanted to fight and everything else was just making me nuts. So my parents let me quit for a bit but they told me eventually after taking a break for a few months I would have to go back. They forced me back. I went. My folks said I could stop after black belt. So I was forced to tolerate the basics, forced to tolerate the one step, forced to tolerate the forms. But when sparring came, I was ready to go all Van Damme. My master, who knew I loved to fight to the point where I won trophies in tournaments for it, told me he would pair me up with guys. But he also made it clear not to cry if they hit too hard. I never did. Guys always put up a good fight. I liked it.

Time passed and I moved on to other things, partially because you have to wait two years to test for the next degree of black belt and I simply didnt have that patience. But the martial arts training was worth it. It altered my spirit. It made me able to stand up for myself. My first year of college I had an acting teacher-a bitch who has no career and will never have one-throw some shade in the worst kind of way. I was able to stand up to her and do what I needed to do to get away from that mentally unstable wannabe. It gave me confidence to deal with all the wannabes.

As for times I was in physical peril, it made me realize there was a difference between guts and cowardice. From the ex who stalked me and his gal posse, at the time they put fear into my system because they were so hateful and frequent. However, as time went on I began to realize my ex was not behaving like a man but rather a scared little boy. Not only was he being sneaky, but he would never meet me face to face for a real fight just like his gal pals. They were tough on the internet. However, they would never meet me in real time because that would involve real confrontation. And if they did I would be able to defend myself. I had the training after all.

As a matter of fact, there are people who believe that putting their kids in martial arts encouages fighting and bullying. No, the opposite. Martial arts teaches that a coward throws a punch to start with. A person with true courage takes every other route and uses fighting as a last resort, aka when they are truly in danger and have no other choice.

I really didn't get back into the whole martial arts thing until the winter of 2011. My friend Chacho had died as a result of his drug addiction. A colorful character, he made his choices and his choice was the drugs. As a result, we were not on speaking terms when he died. After he passed, I felt an overwhelming guilt and was just raging out all the time. Part of it stemmed from the guilt and sadness of closing a friend, and the other part of it stemmed from the fact I was not sleeping. After several days of wanting to walk down the street and working on accidentally running into someone so I could have an excuse to hit them, I decided this feeling of rage was not worth a potential felony charge. This was not what my karate master taught me to do. I went to my gym and saw that they had an early morning kickboxing and mixed martial arts class. I made it my business and went. I figured if I liked it I could keep going, and if not I gave it a shot. Plus I wasnt sleeping anyway, why not?

Well I ended up going and really liking it. Plus I love the instructor Jeanene who has several different blackbelts from several different places. Unlike childhood where my mother told the master to treat me as his own and forcing me to double classes and to clean the karate school, I wanted to go. Punching something brought me peace, focus, and most of all quelled the rage that built after my friend's death. It also gave me a new lease on life, making friends with people who were getting fit. Plus as a woman it never hurts to be up on self defense. I was quickly hooked and soon was going to morning and evening classes. Getting back into martial arts not only helped me balance my emotions, but also gave me an excuse to eat better because you need energy to do that exteme activity.

There have been several times martial arts has given me confidence in this past year, too. When I was dealing with a fan who began stalking me, I went to the cops. While it was scary, I was not afraid to stand up for myself. I talked to the friends who knew what was going on and got a strategy. Most of all, I was up on my self defense. Yes, I was a little fearful but I was able to go on with my life. Martial arts teaches you that someone can only bully you as much as you let them. And I wasn't going to let this person bully me.

On other occasions, because I am even spirited and have peace of mind, I am able to do things I only dreamed of as a kid like being on television, writing and publising a comedic memoir, but most of all being myself without the fear of redicule from others.

Recently I added another part of my martial arts practice as a child back into my regimen. That is meditation. We used to meditate before and after class when I was a kid and I used it as an excuse to sleep. I know, it was bad but hey. Now I am meditating again and doing it in conjunction with my kickboxing. It not only balances me out but gives me peace of mind, and when my mind is in shape my body can absorb my training.

As a part of my training I am making a living amends to my karate master. That is to pay more attention to form and technique as an adult and not to blow it off. There is a reason we do those things. Just as in Karate Kid, Daniel soon realized why he had to wax on and wax off after he stopped asking so many questions. Miawgi, you are a genius.

Today wasn't such a smooth day.My computer crashed out of no where.  I was swamped at work and just as I was running everywhere I was talking to my publisher and was nearly careened by a mac truck. Well I got to my first stop and they couldnt find the recipient and everyone was talking to me at once and I snapped at the client out of pure frustration that she was leaving at a certain time, and my next delivery was leaving at a certain time and no one would work with me. Yes, I got an opinion, the demon in me got out of control. I was mad as hell. It was all about me. But then I remembered that the karate training from my childhood would have never condoned such egoism, such arrogance. It taught me fighting was a last resort, not a first resort, and loss of temper was a kissing cousin to that.

 After being admonished by my boss, who like my childhood karate master is a Virgo, I ran uptown did the second delivery. Then after helping an old woman across the street it occurred to me that part of the training of karate was before fighting one of the other tactics was to try to appease and make right, as in if there is peace to be made do it. That is when I called my boss and apologized. I also offered to redeliver. The client was estatic. I called her later to make amends. It went well.

 Then my mom called me back to give me feedback on something and said, "I have a feeling you just jotted this down to get this done." I wanted to scream.

Then I remembered there was a kickboxing class tonight.

That's when I decided that despite the tired I felt I needed to get out the anger and aggression from my day. So I got on my boxing clothes and got my gym bag. Best decision ever. Sometimes you have to street fight some imaginary people without the worry of getting arrested.

I feel good now that martial arts is back in my life. I feel more centered and want to do more of it whenever I can and wherever I can. Also, I dont just want to learn the moves and to fight but also the technique. I want to appriciate the art form too.

In closing I would like to clarify what a fighter is and is not. A fighter is not a violent person. Adam Lanza and James Holmes were violent people with anger issues. One went into a school and opened fire on a room of unarmed children, the other went into a movie theatre and opened fire on unarmed people. Those were not acts of standing up for onesself but rather acts of extreme cowardice that are so dispicable that they cannot even be described in words.

A fighter is someone who is not afraid to stand up for themselves and to stand up to a bully at any time by not being afraid. They use physical violence as a last resort, and never would they ever go after anyone weaker or unarmed. A fighter would only fight an opponent worth the fight, and would defend someone that is weaker. As a martial artist I am in the second class, as is any martial artist who is serious about the practice that they have the privledge of studying.

That is just a clarification to those who dont know the difference

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

Come to my signing
12-27 @ 7pm
Bethel Park Public Library
5100 W. Library Ave
Bethel Park, PA 15102


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Haters, My Motivators

The other day I was out running errands when I saw a girl I knew first year of college. She still looked the same, dressing like she got her clothes out of a dumpster or perhaps off of some old drunken bag woman off the street. I hung out with her twice because during the first few weeks of college you sort of scope out who your friends will and won't be. We were making our way around the city on some sort of retarded outing that was supposed to bond us all as a mandatory suggestion of student life. I remember hitting it off with several of the people in the group-all except her.

She was a perpetual wet blanket. Everything that could be said that was cheerful she just put down. This woman was a black blob on a pastel painting. She quickly made it apparent that she didnt like me. At the time because I was so young it hurt that she didnt like me. What was I doing wrong? I was hitting it off with everyone else in the crew. It was a pain of knowing someone didnt like me and I didnt do or say anything bad to them?

What made her so ravenously hate me? Was it the puppets? Was it the big, fake eyelashes and terrible mascara I wore during that point in my life? Was it the fact that I was so desperate to make friends, almost too desperate? I remember my dad said maybe I came on too strong and my mom said I was better looking. Then of course some of my friends said it was my gnawing insecurity. She probably didnt like me or hate me, and it was just me. Well I was willing to think that until she actually told people she hated me. Did it hurt my feelings? Yes, because my first year of school was hellacious. There were three suicides, all in the library. Then a girl a floor up from me was raped by two men who lived on my floor but dropped the charges. A kid down the hall from me was a drug dealer and his partner-a huge fan of mine-was arrested by the feds. And this bitch was mean to me.

Well fast forward years later when they are gossiping about me as usual on an online message board. Someone wrote that they met me at the beginning of college, didnt like me, but took me in stride like the suicides. They also ripped on my terrible eye makeup. Immediately I knew who this was because she had said the same things about me. I didnt care. Our paths didnt cross anymore. And I always knew I would have the better career.

Well I gave the wet blanket no more thought until I went to run the simple errand and she turned up. She looked familiar and I could not place her. Who was she? I had only met her once or twice so she probably wasn't that important. But there was this pain like a knife to my gut, like a run. Like this person was not a friend despite the fact that she said hello. I didnt know why I got that feeling. Maybe I was crazy.

On my walk home I put two and two together.

I met this bitch at the beginning of college, she said she didn't like me, and she bad mouthed me on a message board. She still had the same sour expression on her face and the same terrible clothes. Just to do it, I looked her up and saw that life hadn't been kind to her. She keeps a blog where she bemoans that the industry does not recognize her talent. She whines about the fact that despite all of her qualifications and talent she cannot find an agent or an acting job. She claims she finds no fulfillment in her life. Bottom line, if you read her blog there is nothing that makes you say, "I am rooting for you. You deserve all the best." It's more like you are fat, ugly, and annoying, get a reality check.

Sure, life hasn't always been easy for me, and following the dream has it's challenges. But I am getting to go places she is never going to go because I work harder, have the better attitude, and am just more of a fighter. It's not because I am more talented, oh no. Here's the thing. She can say all she wants about my terrible eye makeup and puppets. But the only place anyone will listen to her is on the message board with the rest of the losers who whine about how life is not fair. It is the only way she can have a captive audience because no casting director would ever give her nasty puss an acting job. The closest she will ever get to my world is Gawker,, and her television at home.

It should make me feel good, right?

No, it doesn't. Because jealousy is an ugly thing. Having been on the giving end it makes you feel good for a minute but then you feel drained because it gets you no where. Having been on the receiving end it has made me a changed person, and now I have learned to be happy for people because I know what it's like when people aren't happy for you. This woman in particular is someone who is very unhappy and can only focus on the lives of others, and therefore she can only complain about what she does not have. She can't be a doer because that would involve focusing on herself and that is too much. Her mind must be a terrible place to live and it must be a hellacious existence on the regular and I do feel very sorry for her.

I look at my life right now and I know I am where I am supposed to be. I am blessed to have a career that is taking off because I am doing the work on a continual basis. But it is because I refuse to give into the devil of envy and jealousy and will never let grass grow under my feet.

And when I see someone like her who I know was seething after that encounter, it makes me work harder. Say all you want about my eye makeup sweetheart, but the last time I checked I got more TV time in a week than you will in your entire career. But no matter, she can't dream, she can only foam at the mouth.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

Come to my book signing
December 27 @ 7pm
Bethel Park Library
5100 w. libray ave
bethel park pa 15102

Monday, December 17, 2012

Doing My Part For Sandy Hook Elementary School

My heart goes out to the little ones who lost their lives at Sandy Hook. In so many ways, there is so much wrong with the world that we live in. A disturbed young man shoots up a school filled with innocent children, and his mother kept taking him to the firing squad despite his obvious issues. Everyone wants to scream about guns, no one wants to talk about mental health. The Westboro Baptist Nuts want to picket their funerals saying that God sent the shooter because the gays are getting rights, and therefore using the deaths of those babies to do it. Anonymous is publishing the info of the Phelps Family on the internet. I am a woman of peace and a spiritual nature, but the Phelps Family has gone too far in my opinion. I would say that they have a place in hell but hell is too good for those self-obsessed, delusional, bigoted nutcases. In that mix we have the people screaming that this happened because we took God out of the schools and therefore let Satan in.

In this debate about gun control and this discussion of mental illness we forget about the children of Sandy Hook. We forget about the children, six and seven, who's biggest crimes was leaving their toys out, not making their bed sometimes, teasing each other, and perhaps fighting with a sibling. My point is, they were children. They were innocent. They were just going to school, minding their own business when Adam Lanza took their lives. As someone who is an advocate for people with mental illness, I want to believe he has found peace. But I also want to believe he is burning in hell, because heaven is for the innocent victims like those twenty children he slaughtered in cold blood.

We also forget about the living victims, the families of the children lost. The parents who tried everything to keep their children safe, and who thought by sending them to school they were not sending them to their death. The surviving siblings of these children who feel nothing but a sense of longing and guilt. Also, the children who went to that school that survived and will have nightmares forever and that have been robbed of their innocence and childhood.

That being said, I am doing my part to help the victims of Sandy Hook. This Christmas through the first two weeks of January, a portion of the proceeds from my book will go to help the children of Sandy Hook. Donations will go to their school's library to buy books and to provide whatever else those children need in the way of counseling. To see the commercial I made please go to

In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr, "It is always the right time to do the right thing."

And it is the right time to help those children. We should not be focusing on the tired argument of gun control, fighting about God in schools, letting the Westboro Baptist Church trample on their dignity. No. We should we concerned about not just the lives lost but the living victims.

Let's all do our part.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Available on Amazon

Come to my book signing
December 27, 2012
Bethel Park Library
5100 West Library Ave
Bethel Park, PA

Sunday, December 16, 2012

How I Got to Do Gangnam Style on Korean TV

Last week I was feeling tired. Heisman Weekend was coming up. My family was coming to town. Not to mention I had been so busy promoting my book that every lightbulb but one burnt out in my apartment. Anyway, I had to pay my rent and go to the bank and then deliver a telegram. So as I am walking in Times Square I see this Asian Dude jumping around. People are surrounding him and taking photos. There are cameras and people seem to be cheering him on. I am like, wowsa.

I asked some girl with her cellphone camera up what was going on. She said, "He's one of the guy's from the Gangnam Style video." Part of me thought, oh boy, the Macarena of this generation. I had been cursed with the dance at many a Teen Center. The other half of me thought that this was pretty cool. In all my times at the Teen Center where the sixth grader in me longed to be the cool eighth grader never in my ever so-called life did I think I would be this close to the new dance craze.

"Which one?" I asked. Then it popped into my head, he was the guy from the elevator!

Just then with a gazillion watts of energy this man asked, "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM!!!!" Part of me wanted to tell him that he was a Korean man with way too much energy. We never have that much energy in the white world. The other part knew the answer.

"You were the guy in the elevator!" I blurted out.

"YES, SHE KNOWS WHO I AM!!!" He screamed with joy. With that, both of us started doing the Gangnam Style dance for Korean TV. I had my coffee in hand and began to sing the lyrics with him. "Hey, sexy lady.....Upa Gangnam Style!" And as did the dance the worries off of me. Rent was paid and for as much as I worried about my family visit they would have a good time.

After a few minutes I was on my way. The family visit went well and Heisman's went off without a hitch.

Fast forward nearly a week later. I am having issues with a project I did and someone working with me-long story. It has been stressing on my mind. My recent promotion at work means I get all the complicated, high profile clients that expect good things and am also doing phones-work. I need a new puppet, May Wilson has seen better days. Then I sent my book as a Christmas present to a friend and it seemed I was at the mercy of stupid people at the Post Office. Not to mention my boss sent me to do a pink gorilla on Staten Island. It went well but was quite a trekk and some Eastern Euro trash was squawking at top volume on the phone and let me tell you I said the Serenity PRayer cause she was squawking for forty minutes on the phone without stopping and I wanted to deck her-but she was't worth the felony charge.

Last night, as I readied my bubble bath and finished a musical I am writing my baby cousin messages me. She is currently dating a Korean guy who I met at Thanksgiving and that I like quite a bit. Anyway, she PM's me and says her boyfriend was watching Korean TV (he still has a lot of family over there) and he saw me doing Gangnam Style. I was like WTF!!!!! THIS IS MCAWESOME!!!!!!

Anyway, I am here doing Gangnam Style at 18:30, take a gander

And then my mom messaged me to tell me that the thing got 90,000 hits. WOWSA!!!! Upa Gangnam Style. So when I look in the mirror at myself I will say, "Hey, sexy lady!!!"

So as I end this year and start the new one afresh, I feel like a new woman; a New York Barbie if you will.

My neighbor who was out of work approached me a few months ago in the dumps. I gave him a pep talk. Recently he found a job and dropped me a Christmas card as a thank you. I didn't think my pep talk helped as much as it did. But this is a great way to start the season of giving.

I also blocked two women on my facebook page from my early days in the city who basically stalk me online and talk trash. They can talk trash as much as they want, but it doesn't mean I need them both as facebook friends. I need the room on my page for real friends and most of all die hard April Brucker fans.

And if anyone asks, I will be doing Gangnam Style with the high energy Korean man in Times Square. Perhaps Psy can join us if he isn't too busy teaching the dance to some American model. And I hope he brings Madonna. I made her song a number one on the internet for five weeks this year. I think it's time we met face to face.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

Come to my book signing
December 27, 2012 @ 7pm
Bethel Park Library
5100 W. Library Ave
Bethel Park, PA 15102