4/16/09: Life Lesson #141

How To Plan a Trip to NYC With Your Mother


(Via email. When she’s taking the train from one city and you’re taking a plane from another.)


Mom: The train station is only .9 mile from our hotel! Which airport are you going to?

Me: I’m flying into JFK. I’ll get in at roughly 5:30 (pm). Just call me when you arrive and I can meet you in a cab at the train station!

Mom: I get there at 7:25. It’s close enough, I can walk.

Me: It’s a mile and it’s going to be dark! And you’ll have luggage! And you’re a first-time tourist! No way. I will meet you there.

Mom: OK, but it probably won’t be dark in July and I’m traveling light!

Me: I will meet you, crazy mom. Walk alone with luggage through Times Square at night? Would you let me do that?

Mom: Good point! I will meet you there!

Me: YAY! I love you!

Mom: The airport is 18 miles from the hotel, I just map quested it.

Me: It’s OK, mom. I’ll take a cab.


Dear Dick Wolf:

Mom has decided to come to New York with me. I obviously need to sit her down for a Law & Order marathon before our trip. If you have any additional words of caution for her, please feel free to leave a comment.

Thank you. Amen.

Published in: on April 16, 2009 at 6:26 pm  Comments (4)  
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4/12/09: Church, Maple Bars, and Mom

Dear Dick Wolf:

Happy Easter!


I don’t know if you celebrate or not, but just in case. I don’t normally celebrate anymore. Not that I shun Jesus or anything, but I’m not so much religious these days as spiritual. If I go to church on Easter, it’s more for nostalgia than anything.

You see, I grew up Catholic. I went to catholic school, wore the uniforms and everything. My mom has always wanted to provide me and my brother with the best of everything, so when we were growing up, she bartended like mad in order to earn enough money to send us to a private school, Sacred Heart Academy in Klamath Falls. She was also putting herself through college at the time. (Mom now teaches at Oregon Health & Sciences University, and still works like crazy. She also has a part-time job on the weekends working as a medical imaging technologist at an urgent care facility. She takes X-rays. As cool as this is, it proved somewhat troubling when I got bucked off that bull I told you about. She was the one who scanned me. Fun for her! But I digress…)

On Sundays, mom would take me and my brother to mass. We sang the hymns, recited the prayers, and shook hands with the people next to us and mumbled “Peace be with you” when the priest told us to offer one another a sign of Christ’s peace. This was the WORST part of church (drinking the fake wine was the highlight, even though I had to spout off the Act of Contrition first). I was shy and didn’t want to shake hands. It was especially horrifying when, as Catholic school students, we went to mass during the school day and I had to shake hands with the cute boys and stuck-up girls in my immediate vicinity. Even in church, they scared the hell out of me. I always sat next to my best friend Bernadette so, when the peace-be-with-you portion of the service came, I could shake hands with her first and try to trap her into a conversation, thus monopolizing her time and avoiding everyone  else. But Bernadette was a social butterfly and very good at the shaking hands thing. So, inevitably, she’d release my hand and move on, and I was forced to do the same. It was 30 seconds of agony.

But at Sunday mass, getting through the hand-shaking, and the rest of the service, had its reward. After leaving church, we’d walk across the street to Safeway and mom would buy maple bars for me and my brother. MAPLE BARS! They were so yummy. This was my favorite part of Sunday, and mom treated us every week. I don’t think she was intentionally bribing us to go to church, but it worked anyway. I looked forward to going. Not for the whole religious aspect of it, mind you…I mean c’mon, Catholics. No divorce? No sex before marriage? If I followed your rules I’d be a 36-year-old seriously neurotic virgin. Either that or I would’ve married the first guy my hormones went wackadoodle for and wound up stuck in the wrong relationship FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. And what’s up with confession? Do I really need to tell a priest my sins in order to be forgiven? Why does God need a middleman?…No, I looked forward to church because of the maple bars. And to this day, every time I have one – which isn’t nearly often enough – I’m transported back to Sunday mass with my family, and our weekly trips to Safeway.

If it’s any consolation, I still remember the Act of Contrition. Maybe I’ll dust off that puppy tonight, crack open a bottle of wine and have a maple bar. I mean, it is Easter.

Peace be with you, Mr. Wolf. I would totally shake your hand.


Published in: on April 12, 2009 at 3:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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4/6/09: I’m Coming to Town, Mr. Wolf!

Dear Dick Wolf:

Hello! Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve written. I hope you weren’t worried. I’ve been fine, just a bit overwhelmed. I know, I know, that’s standard for me, so I really have no excuse. Please don’t be upset.

Anyway, we have a lot to catch up on! Let me start with the most exciting development of the past month – I’m a radio celebrity! OK, maybe “celebrity” isn’t quite accurate, but I do have my picture on a radio website! Look:


I know, I’m totally washed out. I look like a banshee librarian. But hey – if you need a dead body for a Law & Order morgue scene, I’m available.

So, as you may have gathered from the photo, the name of our radio show is LAGenX. We’re members of Generation X, living in Los Angeles. Pretty straightforward. My partners-in-crime are Jason Burns – actor, and Jeff Phillips – musician. We have goals, dreams and ambitions. We want to make it big in the entertainment industry. And living in L.A., we’re constantly THISCLOSE to someone, at any given moment, who could help make our goals, dreams and ambitions a reality. Yet we’re standing on the outside, looking in. So, to help alert the showbiz elite to our collective talent, we’ve launched a radio show. And for me, let’s be honest – by showbiz elite, I mean you. 

We’re on LA Talk Radio live every Saturday. It’s Internet radio, so you can listen in New York! 2pm your time. And please feel free to call in. LeVar Burton called the show this past weekend! Yes, we’re THAT big already. He talked about a play he’s starring in that opens this Friday called The Caterer. He’s returning to the stage after a 25-year absence! VERY cool. And get this – LeVar also asked me about…YOU! I’m not kidding! He thinks I’d be a great love interest for Jeff Goldblum on Criminal Intent! DIE! You don’t believe me, do you? I TOTALLY SWEAR. You can listen here. He mentions you at 20:14, but you should listen to the whole interview because he’s terrific.

So yeah, I’ve got LeVar Burton’s endorsement. Kunta Kinte. Geordi La Forge. Mr. Reading Rainbow. He’s pretty big time. Oh, and he thinks you should get on Twitter! (LeVar is HUGE on Twitter.) I agree. You should. I’ll follow you.

OK – more big news. I’M COMING TO NEW YORK! YAY! For my birthday this summer. It’s been a couple of years since my last visit, so it’s time. I’m excited because I’m staying right smack dab in the middle of Times Square! (Well, you know, in a hotel.) Which means I get to walk to Broadway and see as many shows as I can cram into a weekend. SO PUMPED. Also going to try to squeeze in a weekend visit to GMA – I love Bill Weir. He’s dreamy.

So, I was thinking, maybe I could come in for an audition on Monday, July 6th. It’s the day after my birthday, and would be a swell present. Think about it, OK? I should have some snazzy new headshots by then. Also, I’m a writer. It’s actually what I do for a living. So, if you’d like me to come up with a Jeff Goldblum love interest storyline spec script, just let me know and I’ll bring it to the audition.

Thanks! Looking forward to hopefully meeting you!

And again, sorry for the delay in writing. I’ve missed you. It won’t happen again.