Lost & Found

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

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

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

Captain Kangaroo

 

Advertisements

My Fool’s Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What year? I’m 1973.”

WOW! WHOA! WEIRD! What are the odds?

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

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

Christian & Griswold

Fly, Baby, Fly

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

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

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

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

Exercise that right, ladies.

Build your own helicopter and fly that baby.

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

NYPDTweet Heli-Dyne NYPDChopperBridge NYPDChopperWTC NYPD Chopper MomWiringChopper MomWiringChopper2 NYPDChopperTest

Solo Shows & Storytelling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make Life Happen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She inspired me to live by my own words:

Make life happen.

~Kambri
Giddy up!

Wet n’ Wild Megalast Lip Color

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Can See Clearly Now…

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

Within a few hours…

I misplaced my readers.

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

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

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

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

The Final Chapter…?

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

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