Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Book 'em, Danno

          I know I’ve been writing a lot of blogs about St. Bob, lately, but if you don’t want to be in my blog, stop providing so much material, right?  And, actually, he doesn’t mind appearing here.  It’s like I’m writing his biography for him.
          So, did you know that St. Bob has been an actor as well as all the other amazing things he’s done?  Quite true.  Starting in his teens in community theatre, he played Riff in West Side Story and then Biff in Death of a Salesman (I sense a rhyming trend here, don’t you?)  I also wonder if the reason only one of our sons is married is because he found someone named Tiff.
          Bob went on to appear in various TV shows, including the Emmy-worthy moment when he said, “He got away” on Hawaii Five-O back in the late Sixties. I wonder if his character’s name was Ziff. (Five-O actually equals 5, but Hawaii 5 just doesn’t sound the same.  Nor does it depict our 50th state.)
          And, for this illustrious moment in dramatic history, Bob occasionally receives royalty checks.  I am so hoping this will continue long after we’re gone, and that our children will be able to inherit this phenomenal cash cow.
          Here’s the stub of his most recent check.  You’ll notice his payment--ten dollars-- circled in red. 
          Yes, folks, show biz is a remarkable thing. Between this windfall and the occasional 67-cent checks for various game shows he’s hosted, we will be able to visit the current Hawaii Five-O in person!

You, of course, can subsidize my tropical dreams by purchasing my books right here.  I’ll even eat a pineapple in your behalf.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Is This What St. Really Stands For?

          Two weeks ago I blogged about how lucky I am and whataguy Bob is, right?  So I think I’m safe sharing this latest moment with you. After all, even when we love each other, we all have times when we can also laugh at ourselves.  At least I hope so.
          St. Bob and I were driving past an outdoor cafĂ©, and this is what Bob saw out his window (except the ones we saw were black):
          “What are those people doing?” he gasped.  I looked over, saw the black-robed creatures and then looked at Bob to see if he was joking.  Nope; he thought these were some kind of scarily-clad individuals. Were they protesting? Holding a meeting?  Staging a takeover of the local sushi joint?
          I waited for it to dawn on him that these were patio umbrellas, then said, “You’re so cute.”
          He smirked.  “Is that cute spelled with an S?”
          I laughed.  “Followed by a  t, u, p, i, d?” Then it occurred to me: What a perfect explanation for his nickname, St. Bob.  We can just say St. stands for, well, something else.

But you can get actual saint status by ordering my books right here! There’s something for everyone; scroll through and start the New Year right!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Monkey Business

          You knew, sooner or later, that if I have a humor blog I’m eventually going to write about monkeys, right?  I mean, what’s funnier than monkeys?  And what’s more FUN than a whole barrel of them, right?
          But I’ve been thinking (sometimes a risky venture, but stay with me). The phrase, more fun than a barrel of monkeys has actually been around for more than a century.  And Milton Bradley even came up with a game by that name in the 1960s, implying lots of fun for anyone who played it. 
          But would a barrel of monkeys actually be fun?  Do you know anyone—anyone at all—who has filled their home with monkeys, because, doggone it, what could be more fun than that?
          I know one guy who had one monkey, and of course it’s St. Bob.  When he was young—and I mean seriously young, as in high school—he hosted a cartoon show on television.  
          From there he hosted talk shows, then game shows, and the rest is on Wikipedia.  BUT… when still living in Lake Charles, Louisiana, he had adoptable animals on his cartoon show from time to time and decided to bring a monkey home, himself.  It came with a cage, and Bob put it in his bedroom.
          Soon Bob’s father came home from work.  And one thing that’s universal—at least for monkeys—is the alpha male thing, whether you live in Louisiana or India or Costa Rica.  So when Bob’s father walked into the bedroom to see the new addition to the family, the monkey went ballistic.
          Indelicate language coming up: The monkey began screaming and hurling excrement and peeing in every direction, as if a rotary fan were helping to distribute his opinion.  Apparently it is rather amazing how much opinion one monkey can generate.
          And soon the monkey went back to the zoo or the shelter or wherever it came from. No word on how long it took to clean up and recover from the attack, but it’s safe to say that an entire barrel of such creatures would not be as fun as advertised.
          So I looked it up.  And guess what—that phrase began as sarcasm, an ironic reference to anything NOT fun whatsoever.  Over the years, as things happen, we began using the phrase literally, assuming a bunch of monkeys would be all you need for a dang good, memorable party. 
          Well, I’ll grant you it would be memorable.   

          Instead of monkeys, buy something much cheaper, less messy, yet still fun.  How about a stack of quiet, safe books available right here?  You don’t need to feed them or clean up after them,  just store them on a shelf.  Easy, peasy, my friends.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Lucky Me

          I’ve told you about St. Bob’s amazing luck before, but now it’s my turn.
          Twice, within a week, two of my girlfriends have commented on how lucky I am to have snagged Bob. 
First, at church after Bob gave a talk, one rushed up and said, “He is so fantastic! How did you get so lucky?” 
And then another girlfriend came over to the house and said, “There was only one Bob, and Joni was the lucky one who got him.”
A few years ago we took some Christmas gifts over to an elderly woman in our church and—with me standing not a foot away—she whispered in his ear, “I love you.”
There’s something alluring about this guy, and I'm not the only woman who finds him irresistible.  For one thing, he is truly a handsome Prince Charming.
 And he’s so hilarious I often double over laughing.  
He’s not just smart, but wise, which is actually really hard to find. He’s spiritual, kind, forgiving, generous, mentally awake and morally straight, kind of like a Boy Scout on steroids. 
When I wrote the As the Ward Turns series of four novels, the husband in the story is definitely based on Bob.  I can hear his voice, even when that character delivers lines Bob hasn’t actually said.
So today I pay tribute to this amazing guy whom I love more than life itself, and acknowledge with immense gratitude that I am indeed a lucky woman.  And not just because he provides me with so much material.  Although, there is that.  Thank you, Bob.
Check out my books—there are 24 of them—here.  And be sure to watch my YouTube Mom videos.  Bob is the cameraman, of course.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Dear Santa, Here’s What I Need

          It isn’t often you discover a cool gift when you’re at a doctor appointment, but that’s what happened just last week.
          St. Bob had a check-up on his knee replacement, and since Bob is up on all matters tech, he noticed the doctor was wearing a Google Glass thingy on his eyeglasses.
          Turns out this gizmo will make dictation a thing of a past.  For decades doctors have had to summarize their patient visits into a mike after each exam, transcribed later by an assistant.
          But now they’re starting to wear these phenomenal spectacles that connect them to a remote scribe so they can keep notes as they go, right while you’re sitting there talking to them.  Our guy’s scribe is in India.
          Augmedix says they are rehumanizing doctor/patient relations this way, and are investing millions to do it.
          Can you imagine the ways I could use such a device?  “Wait—didn’t you just buy celery two days ago?” it could ask as I’m losing my mind in the produce department.  Or it could prompt me with impressive trivia when in a conversation with a Brainiac at a party.  And I could keep it busy all day, telling me why I just went upstairs, or into the family room, where I now stand wondering what I came in for.
          Like a little assistant sitting on my shoulder--but an angel instead of a devil-- it could tell me to slow my driving down (which I would ignore), or remind me to put the laundry in the dryer.  It could catch spelling mistakes as I write along, it could remind me that I wore the red blouse at the last meeting, and it could even tell me about sudden sales, better traffic routes, or how to fix the microwave without calling a repairman.
          You could suddenly go on the speaking circuit, using this thing as your personal teleprompter.  You could ask for a raise, propose to your girlfriend, apologize profusely—win a zillion friends.
          On the other hand, knowing our budget, Bob could buy me a bargain one and I could get an idiot on the other end, giving me all the wrong answers.
          “Turn left,” he would say.  And then as I’m careening down a cliff, “Oops.”  
           Or my scribe could forget to make the list I said I needed, and leave me to wander aimlessly with a shopping cart, finally picking up his favorite pickled herring and jalapeno mustard.
          No, this thing has to be done right.  Which is where you come in.  Be a lamb and buy a few of my books here.  Seriously, there’s something for everyone and royalties for me.  That’s  how I’ll finally get the brain I need.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

'Tis the Season to be Falling

          I told you that St. Bob is recovering from a complete knee replacement, right?  Well, the whole reason he had to have it was due to a skiing accident 20 years ago.
           Turns out you should take your own skiis and adjust your own bindings. Instead, we had rented skiis and the doofus (yes, doofus) kid who tightened them for him gave it one or two cranks too many, and Bob’s skiis wouldn’t release.
          This wouldn’t have been a problem, except for Doofus #2 on a snowboard, who cut Bob off and caused him to fall.  Two doofuses are one too many, and Bob heard the snap! as he went down, his ski going one way and his leg going the other.
          I was at the top of the hill resting (some would say oblivious), completely unaware of the situation.  But soon I was heading toward a guy crumpled on the snow who looked an awful lot like my husband.  As I got closer I did the only sensible thing—I screamed.  And it wasn’t long before the ski patrol zipped up to us to assess the situation.
          Sure enough, his knee was out of commission (turned out to be a torn minuscus).  So the guys radioed for a toboggan, and began filling out paperwork, right there on the slope.
          “What do you do for a living?” one guy asked.
          “I play for the 49ers,” Bob said.  I just stared at him.  Seriously?  You’re going the macho route so you won’t look like a wimp?  Good grief.
          “Can you tell me what happened?” the fellow said.
          “Just write O.F.T.T.H.,” Bob said.  And when the fellow didn’t understand Bob just sighed, “Old Fart Trying Too Hard.”  Okay.  He’s back.
         Snowed in or snowed under, you need a good book. And you can do all your Christmas shopping in one place—find all my books right here.

Monday, December 4, 2017

And to All a Good Night...

          If ever you need to feel better as a parent, look no further than this blog.  It is loaded—loaded, I tell you—with my own examples of major parenting blunders.  In fact, if you scroll through Joniopolis and you are a publisher, you will consider compiling these into quite a comprehensive collection.
          And now, because this is the time for Christmas choirs around the world, I shall share yet another of my mothering mistakes.  Have your kids ever been in a school choir?  Of course they have. And we all love to gather in auditoriums and watch our little punkins in elf hats and reindeer noses, singing their hearts out.
          Well, when our eldest boys were in grade school, they attended Viewpoint School in a Los Angeles suburb. 
          And every December the kids climbed onto risers onstage, and sang beautiful songs about Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, and all the rest. 
          Except one year Richie had bronchitis.  What to do? I knew he was no longer contagious, but that lingering cough would surely disrupt the program.  The teachers wanted every child to perform, Richie enjoyed it, and we were just young enough as parents, that we didn’t realize how many more opportunities there would be.  (You know how it is when they’re in grade school—you think you need to save every spelling test, attend every assembly, teach them to be reliable…)
          So I figured a spoonful of cough medicine would be the perfect way to quiet the storm for a couple of hours, right?  There’s just one problem: Benadryl Cough Syrup makes you sleepy.  Really sleepy.
          So there they were, all the kids standing in rows on the bleachers, singing about having a Merry Christmas when suddenly one boy got shorter and shorter, then finally slumped down, sat on his step, and fell fast asleep. Yikes—the first comatose performer in Viewpoint’s history.
          Yes, we had to pull him off stage, wake him up and take him home.  No, I did not sit by the phone awaiting a call from the Mother of the Year people awarding me my medal. And I apologized to the music director, and every other parent who mentioned it to me thereafter. Of which there were more than one or two.
          On the other hand, maybe he was the only one acting out a Christmas lyric: “Sleep in heavenly peace…”

          You can also Christmas shop in heavenly peace by clicking here for any number of my books!