Archive for the ‘the beatles’ Category

Some kind of funny guy

May 20, 2013

This weekend I was hired to deal a satellite game for the upcoming World Series of Poker. This is an annual tournament held at the house of one of the guys in my poker league — a former bureau editor I worked with.

The first year John held this, he was the winner. He represented our league at the WSOP, and got knocked out by Phil Ivey.

John’s house is decorated in signed posters and other memorabilia from old movies.

Years ago I was chatting with him in line for the bathroom — which has Bates Motel towels and a sillhouette of a stabber with a bun on the shower curtain.

I asked him how long he’d been married.

He said, “Eight years, four months and three weeks, and I haven’t regretted a day of it.”

How sweet.

“The day I didn’t regret was August 13, 1996.”

Funny, but the credit goes to Jack Lemmon, in “How to Murder Your Wife.”

I like old movies too.


I went to a bar

March 20, 2013

I was kidnapped on St. Patrick’s Day.

Three amazing men, John, Paul and George — the top reporters from the paper where I worked as a copy editor; the top poker players in my league; the people living in my other house — showed up after dinner to take me out to a pub.

I refer to them as ‘The Beatles.’

One minute I was on the phone with My Oldest Friend and the next I’m drinking Guinness in a bar that used to be the corner drug store — the very building where The Playboy Story took place.

I’ve been a wife and mom for about 17 years. The bar scene has changed a lot since I’ve been in it.

In the late ’80s there was always a dance floor and a disc jockey. Often there were pool tables. We would find a table, drink and dance with anyone who asked. It was a blast.

Now there’s a big empty room packed with bodies and a jukebox, if they still call it that.

I didn’t know what to do.

We stood there for a few minutes. Young people with fresh skin and hip clothes were everywhere. I was thinking I felt old.

John “Scotchie” said, “I feel old.” Yeah, well.

He said, “All I can think is that this crowd is a fire hazard. And the music is too loud.” Amen.

I watched a juvenile bartendress make some shots that looked like Shamrock Shakes. She squirted whipped cream on the top and handed them to giggly 20-somethings in tight green tank tops.

I looked down my nose at this. I thought those sissy girls were drinking that foo-foo because they can’t shoot whiskey with the big boys.

I have no idea why I thought I could. I’m the size of the average sixth-grader.

I ordered shots of Jameson, and clinked with The Beatles. “Sláinte.”

One Guinness and I think I’m a hardy Scotswoman.

Suddenly I didn’t care that there was neither dance floor nor room to move. I was dancing and singing along with Tom Petty, “… make it last all night.”

Suddenly I thought everyone in the bar was interested in hearing The Playboy Story. I showed everyone the window where it happened, as if it were the balcony John Wilkes Booth jumped over.

Now you know that I know that two drinks is my limit. But I had a second Guinness.

I felt old that night, but it was nothing compared to my age on March 18.

The Devil?

February 25, 2013

We’re a Texas-Hold-‘Em family. I’ve been playing with a group from my newsroom for years, and my children each started playing with us at about age 10.

When my daughter was 11 she and I participated in a charity tournament at my mom’s church.

There were 41 players, who were allowed to purchase more chips when they got knocked out.

Everytime she sat at a table she took all the chips there. She cleared out three tables before my league’s leader, Scotchie, labeled her The Devil.

By the time she was at the final table it was her official nickname.

She took first place. Scotchie took second. Another from our league, who had just played in the World Series of Poker, came in third.

Almost a year later Scotchie organized a heads-up tournament for our league. This means instead of sitting at a table of players, all games are one on one until only one is left standing.

I outlasted about half of the players before my daughter eliminated me. From there she sat down against Scotchie’s brother.

Scotchie came up behind her and teased, “Look out for this one, she’s The Devil.”

“I’m not afraid of her,” Scotchie’s brother was all smiles. These boys taught her everything she knows.

She rolled her eyes and dealt out three cards face up — 6, 6 and 6.

Scotchie’s brother’s smile dropped. “Maybe I’m a little afraid.”

He folded.

Boyfriends in bands

December 26, 2012

I already told you an ex-boyfriend of mine was a part of Green Day. This post is about a different boyfriend and a different band.

The first love of my life was a blond dreamboat named David Lowy. Everybody mispronounced his last name as Lowery.

He was working in the student store the summer I took biology, and I don’t remember a thing about that class except watching the clock, waiting for my flirt break.

The eye batting worked, and before you could say ‘osmosis’ I had my very first boyfriend. I caught him right before my 16th birthday, and would have kept him forever, I think, if he hadn’t been my first.

A couple months into my junior year I got greedy. I was wanting to sample more of the selections at the buffet. In fact, I thought if I didn’t kiss the boy who sat behind me in history class I would just burst.

Almost 10 years later I was living in Boulder watching Letterman, and he introduced a band from my hometown — where everybody knows everybody. I squinted at the set, which we had salvaged from an alley where someone was throwing it out.

The front man looked like David! I didn’t know he was a singer. Then again, he used to croon Sinatra with my mother in the kitchen while she was cooking.

When they finished, Letterman introduced the members, starting with the front man — David Lowy. Bonus bragging rights for me. I ran out and bought the Cracker cassette, Kerosene Hat.

Another 10 years went by and I was back in my hometown. Scotchie, who I just really want to be as cool as, was telling me one of his favorite bands is Cracker.

Rockin’ good. I did some name dropping and got major cool points with Scotchie. I e-mailed him a picture of David me in 1985. I asked him if he wanted my autograph.

About two years ago I got a birthday e-mail from David, who had found me on

Know what? The Cracker guy is David Lowery.


November 23, 2012

Beatle George has an 8-year-old son. They were over for Monday Night Football tonight.

My son discovered with an outburst that the child has never seen Jaws.

How does this happen? I’ve insisted George bring the boy to me Wednesday so I can fix him.

To my mind, 4 is the right age for Jaws watchin’.

This decision came by happenstance. Uncle Jer and I were upstairs in the Boulder house, flipping through the channels on a Saturday afternoon, when we saw that the movie was about to start.

We looked at each other with excitement. “Pop some corn!”

Then my son wandered in.

Badda bing badda boom. Four was the right age.

We initiated him carefully. We told him what to expect. “Hear the music? That means you’ll see some red spots in the water. Here’s a scary part.”

Then I couldn’t wait for The Baby to turn 4. I stood by the set with the unpopped corn counting down the days from her third birthday.

We had left Uncle Jer behind in Colorado, but acquired the flick on VHS. My son and I popped corn and brought her into the club.

Now it’s Bennett’s turn. 

My kids know the routine by now. We’ll pop the corn, give the warnings, and as one, we’ll shout, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat!”

I’m thinkin’ since the kid’s 8, we’ll have to watch it twice.

To Hell with keeping it clean

November 14, 2012

My friend, the Dirty Old Man, is also an amateur stand-up comedian. He performed at my recent birthday party.

He really is too admirable for the moniker I’ve given him. Please read the name dripping with respect.

As he took the microphone, Scotchie yelled, “Keep it clean, Fred!”

Frown from Fred at Scotchie, then “Do you know why Jewish men are circumsized?”


He went to that mike to perform three times between tribute stories — most of which involved my mooning or flashing someone.

He kept my guests in stitches, even as they told how I don’t stay in mine.

I was touched

August 24, 2012

The last of the Beatles’ birthdays is today. It’s George, wiping up the rear. Like the rest of us, he’s turning 42.

I guess we all go around talking at people and don’t realize which moments they’ll remember forever.

George said something to my husband and me a few years ago that touched me deeply.

He said he looks to our relationship with our kids as his goal with his own son.

I was overwhelmed by how much that meant to me. I make a point of remembering it often, as a means of appreciating what I have.

As if being George’s friend didn’t make me feel lucky enough.

The Santa Claus story

August 17, 2012

All of the Beatles’ birthdays are within a week, with mine in the middle. Today is Paul’s.

Before Paul moved into my other house, he lived in a rental home with his girlfriend of many years. He and she were both reporters at the paper where I was a copy editor. They were both in Scotchie’s poker group.

In mid-December the girlfriend called me for a favor.

She would be spending Christmas in the midwest with her family. Paul would be out Christmas Eve past midnight, playing poker with some group that wasn’t ours. Paul is a poker whore.

There were empty stockings hung above the fireplace and all over the rest of the living room, presumably for decoration. But hidden behind the tree were bags full of small gifts.

My job was to slip into their house and fill the stockings. My husband and I went over armed with a key at midnight. We stuffed for 10 minutes and slipped out without leaving footprints.

There was no cookies and milk left out. I guess Paul was a non-believer.

Paul came home and climbed in bed unawares, but woke up Christmas morning to find every stocking in the house bulging with evidence St. Nick had come.

We’ve never told him it was us.

I wonder if he’s started leaving out cookies and milk.

Scotchie’s proposal

August 15, 2012

The John of my personal Beatles, who I refer to in my posts as Scotchie, is celebrating his birthday today.

A few years ago he amped up his wife hunting, because his biological clock was about to chime 40.

I didn’t figure it would be as hard as it was. Scotchie is a perfect catch. He’s smart, thoughtful, funny and good-looking. He loves to play games, and brings so much enthusiasm he makes them fun for everyone. He’s affectionate. He left a career as a reporter to work at the county animal shelter finding homes for abandoned pets. His family is large and embracing. He listens to Weezer and Billie Holiday.

So it surprised me that it took so long to find a nice Catholic girl who hiked and wanted kids.

About a year ago he found one, and she’s perfect. Last month he flew to Pennsylvania, where she lives, and he proposed to her.

He took her to a romantic bridge with a ring in his pocket.

They were standing right in front of the theater where the famous The Blob movie-evacuation scene was filmed.

It was the anniversary of  The Blob’s release. Will you believe this is a holiday? It was Blobfest. Good timing, Scotchie.

Amid a throng of enthusiasts re-enacting a jelly escape, Scotchie took her hand and got on his knee. She thought he was kidding.

Here’s how I know the details. One of the Blobfesters was videotaping the Blobfestivities, and his buddy tapped his shoulder and said, “Hey this guy’s about to propose.”

Scotchie’s proposal is on YouTube.

Hey, Scotchie, if you’re looking for a site for the ceremony, I just discovered where they filmed Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

I hit a parked car

May 2, 2012

This morning on my radio show they did a round robin to see if people ‘fessed up when they hit something in the absence of witnesses. I did.

I had been at my friend Scotchie’s apartment playing poker with other friends from work. It was the best night of poker I’ve ever had, and I don’t remember if I won.

Rodney Dangerfield had died that day, and one of our photographers was doing impressions. He had memorized all Dangerfield’s best jokes. It was tons of fun.

At 6 a.m. we wrapped things up, and I gave one of the reporters a ride home.

He lived on the narrowest street I’ve ever seen. It was so narrow, as I came out the driveway I backed into a car parked across the street.

That car had about 20 political bumper stickers on it.

I left a note that said, ‘I backed into your car. Here’s my cell number.’

That morning I had a funeral to go to. A copy editor, a young one, had died of stomach cancer.

From the reporter’s house it was half an hour home. I primped and drove 45 minutes to the funeral.

By the time I was ready to head home I was a hollow shell of a woman. I was emotional from the service, I hadn’t slept, and I had hit a car. That’s when the guy called me.

‘I can’t believe you left a note,’ he said.

‘I liked your bumper stickers. We must stick together.’

‘In that case, don’t worry about it. I’m throwing your number away,’ he said.

I was terribly relieved. This meant I wouldn’t have to tell my husband.

I said to the guy, in my best Dangerfield voice, “Last night my wife met me at the front door.  She was wearing a sexy negligee.  The only trouble was, she was coming home.”

He hung up on me.

Why we bought another house

April 2, 2012

The Beatles are the guys who live in my other house. This afternoon I was talking to George. He was telling me how happy he is in that house.

I told him how happy I was in that house.

“If only that break-in hadn’t happened.”


Uh-oh. George didn’t know. No choice but to tell him.

Fridays from September to December John “Scotchie” covered the high school football games for the paper. I lived near the stadium, so he would come straight over and use my computer to write and send his article.

Then we would stay up all night playing poker.

One of these Fridays, about midnight, we were playing cards in the first-floor family room when a helicopter started circling. We could see the spotlight going by in the yard.

It was going on for a while. It was so close the windows were rattling.

We looked out a bit but couldn’t conclude anything.

A couple days later it was all over the news — the Los Angeles-based news, even.

It had been a home invasion. A man held a couple at gunpoint, tied up the husband, took $300 from his wallet, and raped the wife.

It was two blocks behind us, and two blocks to the north.

The guy was never caught.

I was not cool. In fact, the light from cool took three days to reach me.

I know what you’re thinking. It’s the JonBenet thing all over again. How many times is your poor husband supposed to buy a new house because you got scared?

I know this, because my husband told me, right before he told me no.

He reminded me we were just finishing up a major remodel, the house was paid for, and we had two kids headed for college.

He had some points.

I was still afraid, but I dropped it.

By coincidence, the Realtor who sold us that house called my cell one morning when we were at our favorite breakfast diner with my parents.

She just got a listing we had to see. Fun fact: I am a licensed Realtor, and this was a coworker of mine. She was so good at matching people to houses, and so knowledgable, I used her for my three home purchases and recommended her to family and friends.

I told her we’d go see the place before we went Christmas shopping.

I forgot.

She called again when I was in a shop. “All right, all right, we’ll go see, but we’re not planning to move.”

This house was hard to find. We went to a quiet street, a block from my parents’ house, and turned onto a long tree-shaded private drive. Then we turned onto another little private road to get to it.

I got out of the car and looked at the house.

We have always lived in multi-story historic-era homes. We like character, nooks and crannies, wrap-around porches. We like the smell and sound of oak floors, and detailed banisters and woodwork.

This was a patched-together one-story with no trim and aluminum window screens. It was past ugly. It was tacky.

It was half the size of our house.

I said, “Ew.”

My husband had gotten out of the other side of the car — the side by the jasmine-covered archway to the acre and a half of orchard and raised gardens.

Before he turned around to see the house I heard, “We’ll take it.”

My son had gone through the back gate and discovered the koi pond. He yelled, “Sold!”

My daughter had made herself at home by the pool.

I got the best deal of all. I got to say, “Oh, all right.”

My cousin

March 24, 2012

While I was out on St. Patrick’s Day I apparently made to sell one of the Beatles on my cousin.

Both he and she are recently divorced and seeing other people, but I didn’t let that deter me. They’re both such great catches I had to meddle. They’re single, good-looking, educated, successful and fun.

Here’s my favorite story about my cousin.

A couple of summers ago my brood went to Maine with my mother- and sister-in-law to sprinkle my father-in-law’s ashes.

While we were there, my mother-in-law got and accepted an offer on her New York home. She and my husband hurried back to deal with things.

The kids and I took advantage of the available few days for an impromptu trip to Harvard, where my son intended to apply.

The first day we spent at Harvard.

We set out to spend the second day touring Boston, but nothing went right. Right off the bat we got lost on the subway between the Sam Adams brewery tour and the city.

Our spirits were still high, though. We saw several people on the subway we thought were people we knew from home. We started joking that everybody’s twin was in Boston. It became a game.

By the time we found an ATM in the city, it told me my card was no good. It was early evening before we had cash in hand and had found the tour business.

We managed to get on one of those narrated trams you can get on and off of all day. It was so late we were told we would have time only to get on and stay on.

The last stop before it looped back was Harvard, so that was handy.

The guide/driver was hilarious but clearly rushing. If no one was waiting at a stop, we went right on by, hearing landmarks’ stories but seeing them as a blur.

But in front of the site of the Boston Massacre, some tourists detained us. They had an issue with their tickets the driver tried to resolve. It was the first real stop we made.

My son said, “I see another twin! Doesn’t that look like aunt Vicki? And ohmygoodness! The guy with her looks just like her husband.”

The couple had stopped to do something to their stroller right under our open side of the tram.

The resemblance was amazing. I called out their names.

Here’s how amazing the resemblance was: They called our names back to us.

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