Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Maybe We'll Have You Back by Fred Stoller

Sometimes I worry about myself.  I worry too much, for one thing.  I am also plagued with more anxieties and quirks than I can count on all my fingers and toes.  It's not like I don't want to be normal.  I most certainly do.  I never asked the good Lord to make me so weird.  My conversations with LBJ have more to do with me asking Him to please make Santa listen to me than me asking Him to make me a little left of center.
And then I read books like this and I think I may actually be halfway normal, after all!
I think Fred Stoller is funny.  Without even planning it, I believe I have seen every bit of his twenty years' experience on television.  I no longer believe he is acting, however.  I think he is just showing up and saying the appropriate lines.  They just sound funny because he is such a strange person.
"Maybe We'll Have You Back" is a series of essays written by Fred Stoller about his life as a perennial guest star.  I am actually impressed by his career, however the stories were a bit matter-of-fact for my taste.  I think I would have enjoyed them more if Fred had actually read them to me.  I liked reading about his experiences with auditioning, the stars he worked with, and the sets of the various shows.  I liked hearing about his anxieties and quirks, as well.  I just wish the book had been a tad more funny.  I mean, I'm a person who can make herself laugh out loud while commuting alone on a crowded train, so I don't honestly think my expectations are out of line.
It's okay, though.  I still like Fred.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Five Finger Death Hug

I had the opportunity to see Rob Zombie last night, for free, so I seized it!  I love Rob Zombie and he put on a great show!  However, the real rush came from heavy metal rockers Five Finger Death Punch. 
Front man, Ivan Moody, asked the audience to raise their hands if they are currently serving or have ever served in the armed forces.  I raised my hand. 
"Keep 'em up!", he said!
Then he encouraged the rest of the audience to shake those raised hands.  A line of young metal heads lined up ... to hug me!!  They all wrapped their tattooed little arms around me and thanked me for my service!
I cannot explain how moved I was!  Tears filled my eyes and an incredible warmth filled my heart.
So, thank you Ivan!  And thank you to all who have served this great country ~ you are deeply appreciated!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Silver Star

Jeannette Walls quickly won a place in my heart with The Glass Castle and secured it with Half Broke Horses.  When I unexpectedly saw her latest book while shopping for something else, I grabbed it for a trip I was taking.  I didn't read the book jacket, in fact, I took it off when I threw the book in my travel bag and never looked at it again.
The Silver Star is fiction, but it begins much like the previous books, a biography and autobiography.  The author has a delightful way of taking me back.  Sometimes she takes me back to a place I don't believe I would ever want to revisit, but she does it with humor and tenderness.  She makes me feel like I have a story of my own.
While this book isn't brilliant, in my opinion, I loved it for it various reasons.  Sometimes when you are going back in time and connecting with a fictional version of yourself it may just be a simple little story that you need.  I think a 12-year-old me would have adored this book.  I like that a much older me can appreciate that.
This story is written through the eyes of little Bean who is twelve years old and wants nothing more than to enjoy normalcy in her very abnormal world.  She wants happiness for herself and the people around her.  She wants justice and correctness. 
If the story lines are thin .... so what?  For a few hours on a couple of planes, I was 12 again.  Everyday was a barefoot adventure.  For a few hours, I was able to chuckle out loud, weep openly, skin my knees a little bit, and remember with a touch of fondness a time I thought I didn't want to remember.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Kissing the Beehive by Jonathan Carroll

I needed a book to read.  Strangely, I noticed an old paperback under the radiator in my upstairs bathroom.  There's no real need to get into how I happened to be looking under the radiator in my upstairs bathroom.  I was just happy to find a book.
It was an oldie (1998) in tattered condition, but it was new to me!
While I wouldn't say this book is particularly well-written, and the character sketches leave something to be desired, and I found the many typos irritating considering the main character was a best selling author, overall it was not a bad story.
A successful novelist experiencing writer's block decides to stop by his childhood hometown and is flooded with memories that inspire his next novel.
It is murder, intrigue, passion.  I mean, coupled with some Advil PM, it was a nice story to help me get to sleep each night for the last 2 or 3 weeks.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Big Winner

Once upon a time I worked at a radio station.  One of my many tasks was to hand out prizes to the winners from our listening audience.  One day, an on-the-mature-side gentleman entered the building to claim his prize.
My friend, (we'll call him) Bob, walked by my desk.  Bob is gay, which is relevant to the story.
As Bob passed, the "winner" said, "He looks like a funny guy."  Immediately on the defense, I said, "Oh yeah!  He has a great sense of humor!"  Winner said, in a most offensively effeminate voice, "That's not what I meant."
I gave him my best Lassie quizzical tilt of the head.
"What about you?" he asked.  "You look like an outdoorsy kind of girl."
I'm sure I had no idea what that meant.  It probably wasn't a compliment.  But I stuck to my I'm-just-a-dumb-receptionist routine and said, "Well, I like archery."
Sometimes I think the Weisenheimers in the back of my head just throw the new guy out front and make him spit something so ridiculous out of my mouth even I have no choice but to chuckle at it.  Archery?  I know absolutely nothing about archery!  Why did I say that?  My mind and my mouth are not jumping out of the plane in tandem, that's for sure!
Winner said, "Oh, Merlin or Oxford?"
"Well, it's not like I won a gold medal or anything .... I just said I like it."  That was my brilliant retort!
Sure as God makes little green apples, Winner opened his wallet and pulled out a laminated calling card of sorts to prove that he did, in fact, win a gold medal in the 1972 (or some damn year) Olympics in the great outdoorsy sport of archery.
Well of course he did!
Touche', good man, you are correct!  Bob is funny.  I am rather outdoorsy, and you won an Olympic gold medal in archery AND a Spice Girls cd.  Please enjoy the rest of your day.