American Horror Story: Season 5


If it’s fall, it must be AHS season.     Yay.

The strange series that offers a different plot each season, begins tonight on FX ( check you local listings)

The 2015 offering sounds interesting.   It’ll  focus on all the strange goings on at a LA-based hotel with a dubious reputation.   In this case, it’s The Hotel Cecil, a real run down flea bag type of in , which was the scene of numerous suicides, robberies, rapes  and weird happenings, including the strange story of a young Canadian woman who was staying there and went missing,    This happened after a security camera captured acting very strangely inside an elevator. .   She punched all the floor buttons, poke her head out the elevator doors, hiding in the corner….perhaps even engaging in a conversation with someone out of camera sight.

The young woman went missing after that.

Then a week  later,  hotel guests started to complain that the water smelled AND tasted funny.    Maintenance workers checked out the water tanks on the roof and that’s where they found the nude, decomposing body of the young woman floating in the water.  I mean, can you imagine?????   Gag.    Wretch.    I’d rather drink a gallon of dirty denture soaking water.

Heave.   Yuk..

And not only that, convicted killer, Richard Ramirez, the so-called Night Stalker, stayed at the Cecil during his murderous reign of terror in Southern California, and so did another killer…a German psychopath whose name escapes me.

So, naturally the hotel is haunted..  Of course.

No Jessica Lange thus season, but Lady Gaga (see photo above) takes a break from wearing the four basic food groups and tries her hand at acting.    She’ll portray as the hotel’s fashion forward owner,  Sarah Pauley returns to season five as a drug addict, plays a Kathy Bates id back as is the fabulous Angela Bassett.  Look for a number of familiar faces who’ll be reprising characters of creepy, broken souls in one form or another.

iI’ll share my irreverent reviews of each episode after it airs, so join me, won’t you, as I try to find logic and proportion in crazed, but entertains nonsense.

God Texted


God:   Hello Laurie. You there? Texting is cool.

LK:    Well….well….well.     Greetings Hosannah In The Highest!

God:    The notorious G-O-D. I thought I’d try this texting stuff. It’s so instant us!

LK:   More so than talking on w phone?

God:  You guys to read more.   It’s all good.

LK:   How different the everything would have been had the technology existed back in the day.

God:   You guys were in your infancy back then. I had to introduce things to you in baby steps. Most of the early flock were Empiricists. These guys didn’t believe anything unless it could be felt, smelled, tasted, seen or heard. I had to be very creative back in the day.

LK:   And these days we take it all for granted.  We have banking, communication—everything In a cloud. And instantly accessible.

God:    You think Apple is a big deal? There was such mishegas with Guttenberg and the printing press!! What a commotion!!!    But it was good. I needed the world to be better connected…you know…closer. That Tower of Babel explanation only made things worse. It destroyed more bridges than it made.

LK:   Then why didn’t you just stick with Esperanto when you you had the chance?

God:    Water is great, right? But if you have access to eight different tasty kool-aid favors, well, how groovy is that?

LK:    Variety, huh?

God:    Anybody can learn a second, even a third language. Then there are emotions–those are universal. Love feels the same in if you speak Swedish or Urdu. Hate can be expressed in Mandarin as easily as it can be in German—Bavarian accent, thank you. And English is really kind of the new global speak. For a while I thought it should be Hebrew, but it’s a bit too glottal.

LK:    That would’ve infuriated the Islamic states. Can you imagine anyone there joining “the talibansky??????”

God:     Lead by Osama bin Ladenovitz???? Wasn’t in the cards.

LK:     What’s in the cards, then? Share, please.

God:     That’s up to you.

LK::     I hate it when our exchanges turn vague.

God:     They’re only vague to you and always only in the very beginning. The last word you type or utter in our conversations always come from a more enlightened person.

LK:    Knowledge is power.

God:     And faith is sustaining.

LK:     But more difficult in terms of adherence.

God:    For some, not for all. Faith is there for all who need it; those who seek it. It’s good to believe in something.  Even if it comes in the form of disbelieving.   That’s a commitment too.   It’s like what we were talking about earlier.

LK:     You mean the Internet? The ether? A cloud?

God:   Yes, and the big, white, gassy ones in the sky are no picnic to explain either.

LK:   I have faith, but it’s hard to describe.

God:    You’ve just described faith.

LK:     Interesting. Tell me please, do you know how it all goes? How it all ends?

God:    I know when it begins and I know when it ends.

LK:    And the middle part?

God:    That’s up to you. Look sweetie, life is like a sandwich. I give you two slices of bread—one is for birth, the other is for death. You decide what to put in between the slices, Ham, egg salad, a little roast beef, turkey or whatever.

LK:   You admit you know when it ends, but do you know how it ends?

God:   Simply put, it’s like this. Do I know when? Yes. How? No.

LK:    How can you not know how?

God:    I’ll let you in on a little secret. The keyword here is mystery. I can’t possibly explain everything. Only a few people can handle the reality–Steven Hawking and Nancy Pelosi to name a few.

LK:    Pelosi always sounded like an Italian verb.

God:    Yeah and who knew Nancy would become such an adjective!

LK:    I’ve known a few Nancy boys.

God:     As have I. You know, I’m perfectly okay with them getting married. I created them for a reason.

LK:    Which is???

God:   So everyone would have the chance to find love if they so choose. Your relatives 170 times removed poo-pood the concept of homosexuality. But that was when the world needed populating. I needed humans to procreate, but I needed them to love more.    So I let nature take its course.  People should love who they love. I never meant for the issue to be as divisive as it has.

LK;     How did you…YOU NOT see that coming??

God:   Maybe, I looked the other way. Maybe, I decided to give you guys the option of accepting things or denying things.

LK: Free will, again?

God : Again, free will.

LK:   That’s something you know I have trouble with.

God. Calvinism still keeping you up at night?

LK:  Well yeah frankly. Why does someone’s free will impinge on another persons free will? For example, a child is innocently playing in the front yard and some pedophile drives by, sees his opportunity, snatches the kid and a four year old’s battered body is found in a semi dry creek bed three days later.

God: You just answered your own question, doll.   Opportunity and outcome.

LK:  But we’re talking about an innocent child with just four years of life under his belt? He doesn’t know morality or what’s good or what’s evil.

God:   Maybe this ignorance can be a gift. That was his life. That’s all he got for this go round.

LK:   What do you mean?

God:    Here ‘s that Pesky Calvinism again. Pre-determination, but even that’s over simplifying it. Let’s say everyone has an alpha and an omega. A beginning and end.  .Don’t forget the sandwich metaphor.

LK:    How does that play into the reality that a toddler was abducted and found murdered?

God:   Again, it’s not that easy. But look at it this way: The child was going to die, It just so happened that he played outside on that particular day.    The murderous pedophile chose to turn down the street where the kid lived. Sometimes lives intersect. Sometimes only one comes out alive.

LK:    But to die in such a horrific way?

God:    Death is the destination, dying is the process. It gives me no pleasure watching a baby die en utero, There’s no joy in watching a platoon taken out by an IED. Its painful watching a jihadist wearing a suicide vest killing himself and everyone else in an open air market in Tel Aviv. It pains me to see a bomb landing in a playground,

LK:   Then why do we need to die at all? Why kill a baby before its born?

God:    Envy life has a purpose.  But the purpose has to be finite.   For the time the baby had, her impending arrival gave great joy to a mother and a father, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins.

LK   And great pain when it was miscarried.

God:   Yes, but perhaps it wasn’t meant to live.

LK:   Then why couldn’t you intercede?

God;    Who’s to say I didn’t? The one thing you mortals that makes me crazy is attribute perfection to me. Heck, I invented mistakes. Some rapper once warbled, “ain’t nuthin’ perfect”. Preach on, my son because that’s the truth. Humans are created with a divine recipe. I’m talking about a billion spontaneous combustions of cells amid myosis and myotis and other fancy Greek based words with ‘osis’ as a suffix. That means the odds are pretty good something might go wrong. And sometimes it does. I start the car; Nature is the engine. As for your fetus question, some baby’s aren’t sustainable outside the womb.

LK:  I understand attrition and culling of the herd and all…

God:   Don’t put it like that!!!

LK.   Then explain why some disabled kids make it through the gauntlet.

God:   Because they have a purpose, too. Primarily, they bring joy to the lives around them. They make people in their spheres, willing to be compassionate and tolerant, more compassionate and tolerant. In essence, better rounded as people.

(Texting ceases briefly)

God:   Uh…you there? I sense you’re making that confused face, right?

LK   I’m here.

God:   What everyone must understand is that you spend your life as both teacher and student. Life is a gift and each life regardless of where or how it’s lived is a process in which a lesson must be learned and must be taught as well.

LK:   Like famine?

God:   It gives cause to celebrate times of plenty and stock up, when there are periods when food is scarce.

LK:   Like war?

God:    Peace can’t exist without war. We wouldn’t know sweet without bitterness. If love exists, hate has to exist…or worse, apathy.

LK:    Explain apathy then.

God:   Switzerland.

LK:   I love that you’re funny.

God:   I communicate with you in ways relatable to you. If I’m funny, then you’re funny since the ancient texts say you’re made in my image.

LK:  But I don’t have a big white beard and wear long flowing robes.

God:   Neither do I. That was Chuck Heston and someone’s idea of me in the make up and costume department on the set of a Cecile B. DeMille movie.

LK:  bDo you like food, too?

God:   My child, happiness is a twelve inch high pastrami on rye. Heaven to me looks a lot like the old Stages deli.

LK:   What’s hell like then?

God:   No decent deli to be found within a hundred mile radius.

LK:     Good one, G-dog.

God:   Hate to end this delightful texting session, but I must. Your Me-given opposable thumbs must be hurting by now and I have a massive prayer list to deal with, some dating back to the Nixon administration.

LK:   What are those prayers about?

God:  You had Gerald Ford in office, right? Prime example of that old saying, “be careful what you pray for.”

LK: Good point. Then get busy, God. One last question?

God:  Shoot.

LK:  Does that mean you answer all the prayers you get?

God.  Of course. I texted you, didn’t I???

Obnoxious Debate Thoughts


Bobby Jindal is smart, probably a decent man, but his unfettered use of 30 weight as a hair care product is disconcerting.    He’s also a masala of uninteresting.

Lindsay Graham came out swinging, trying hard to be Joe Everyman.  He called ISIS members “bastards” and says there needs to be more “drinkin’ in the White House.   I’m not sure about his particular brand of politics, but that was THE BEST Jed Clampett impersonation EVER.

Was Pataki even there???


Anybody notice there was deafening silence after some main stage candidate introduced themselves?

Over the years, I can remember  hearing about some missing parts from Air Force One.    Well, looking at the stage at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, I think we now know where they ended up.

Rand Paul looks like the kid actor who played Jody from TVs “Family Affair”, circa 1968.

i’ve been watching Donald Trump’s face get progressively redder with each comment from others  on the dais.   His Ken doll-like hair is fascinating.  I’m thinking a tomato with cotton candy on it.   Call me psychic, but I could tell early on that this debate will go Trumps’s way.

Carly Fiorina is strong and stern.    Democrats would probably think she’s frigid, yet these are the things they love about Hillary.

Jeb Bush is very tall.   Thought he was wearing an earring at first.   I focused in and realized it was a little Sherpa clinging on to his earlobe for dear life.   His demanding that Trump apologize to his Mexcian born wife, fell flat.

Paul Walker?   Loved him as one of the original MTV VeeJays.

I like Ben Carson.  He rocked his pen stripe suit.   I bet his blood pressure is 60 over 80.   He is one cool, collected man.  He could reshape my neural pathways anytime.    Still, I don’t think he elevated his poll numbers.

Carly F. would be great in the role of Commander In Chief.    I’d love to see her debate Hillary.   She’s a very poised woman of substance.    Personally, I’d love to go to a dive with her, play pool in cheap shoes and do Tequila shots to the beginning letter in the names of world leader on the globe.

Trump, the insult comic candidate.   He seemed a bit impotent in the crossfire.    Plus, the insincerity in the “Carly is beautiful comment” was an F-5 blunder.    I saw this wall of ego bend a bit tonight.   But that’s me.  Trump’s fan base will never think him anything but a magnificent stud.

Little Marco Rubio.   Like him okay, but his milk mustache bothers me.   You know, I’m a complete political idiot, but I don’t think he’s ready yet, but I think he will be ready some day.   Some think he won the debate. No, not in my opinion.    Fiorina was like a Zamboni retopping a rink.

Carly Fiorina dropping more names than that plate spinning cat on The Sullivan Show.   She came to play.

Eleven candidates’ voices are too much.    These are what the voices in my head sound like.   All trying hard to snark their way to the top.   Some candidates can wear that style, mist can’t.    At least not without seeming utterly contrived.  The majority of debaters will be eliminated by noon tomorrow; Friday noon the latest.  Attrition will make the choice easier.   The lower rung candidates will  have no other option.  Follow Perry’s lead yo (flashes gang sign).

Huckabee was quiet.   As was The Donald, relatively speaking. I bet he’s working on a lline about Paul Walker’s uber squinty eyes.

Mike Huckabee.     Wasn’t he one of the ancient Jewish soldiers with the seemingly never-ending lamp oil that eventually came to known as Hanukkah?

Carly F. is sounding “presidential”.    I think she’ll rise in the poles.   Even with the Czechs.

Marco Rubio just hit one out of the park on the Spanish/English language debate.  He seems warm and heartfelt.

Jeb Bush smoked weed.    Surprise??      Hardly, any candidate mature enough to run for office, will have not smoked pot or at least, found their Mom’s prescription of Valium lying around.    No other candidates admitted to it their nefarious High School and college years.   Guess they didn’t inhale either.   So that means they must have swallowed.   As in, they got majorly tweaked eating pot brownies and  greenish cookies only Carlos Casteneda could love.

Candidates have been fairly well behaved.   All are very into emphasizing their lower to middle class status, Dad was a bartnder… was a housekeeper… father was a mill worker….my mom handled semaphore duty as A member of WAC back in ’44……Papa was a rolling stone.

Ok, so who won this second republican debate?  In my opinion, if anyone moves ahead in the poles it’ll be Carly Fiorina.    Again, she didn’t win this debate as much as she didn’t lose it.  Know what I mean.  No one stood out more than she did.   I’d say she wins the NL level debate.   As for the other not ready for prime time players—-Bush did okay, got some laughs.  Huckabee was a bit preachy in style.   Rand Paul is politically confused AND sporting a horrific application of blush.

Ted Cruz wasn’t a factor.

Christie had a few tough guy moments but I can’t remember any of them.

Kasich?  Which one is he????

In the farm league,  I’d say Lindsay Graham won with sheer hubris and volume.   He was practically in negative digits before the debate.    What did he have to lose??????

The Cecil

This downtown Los Angeles hotel has a storied past for all the wrong reasons.

Two infamous murderers stayed there during the height of their crime sprees.    Additionally, there have several suicides, three women jumped out of upper floor windows, not to mention room burglaries, hallway muggings and rapes.    Let me put it this way, the Cecil was an option when Motel Six was deemed too posh.

The hotel was recently remodeled in an attempt to clean up its act.    I think the name  has been changed as well.    But can a new sign, a fresh coat of paint and some new appointments from IKEA make a difference?

If you’re the writers and producers of one of TV’s newest cult shows, the weirder the  better.   Theyre using the hotel ias a backdrop for the fifth season of FX’s oddly addicting  American Horror Story.   The storyline this go round is called Hotel and based on strange events that have occurred at the Cecil over the years.    So, watch this video that’ll explain everything and including the bazaar Lisa Lim  case.    Besides, my thumb hurts.

Yeah, the Cecil of yesterday was a scary and strange  place.   Don’t know much about its recent facelift, but I know that back in the day, it had a  steady occupancy rate of seedy and transient guests.   Perhaps, people stayed there because of was the low-cost of lodging or perhaps they came for the lure of its dangerous reputation or risking your life by showering or drinking anything from the hotel’s water supply (the thought of that is absolutely repulsive)  To hell with possible ghosts and psychic crime scene imprints in every room, I doubt I could  stay there because of the water, even if the system has been replaced ( which I I’m sure it has) and then scrubbed down three times by Laotian spinsters awash in Clorox.


AHS has a repertory cast each season save for this one.   Leading actress Jessica Lange is taking this year off.   Evan Peters, Denis O’Hare and Sarah Paulson return for their fifth series.   Angela  Basset and Kathy Bates will be there for their third stints. You’ll also  see Chloë Savigny, Mare Winningham and  Matt Bomer, whose name sounds like that of second year NFL quarterback.

But wait….there’s more.   I’ve left at the name of the newest character.


See the long-haired blond?    It’s not creepy old Greg Allman.    it’s not Anne Coulter or Annie Lebowitz with make up.    It’s Lady Gaga, who appears as the  wealthy, elusive hotel owner.

Poke her face.


I’m trying to have hope for season five.    I’ve been disappointed since the first season and I’ve felt the series has been difficult for me to make invest in motionally.    But I’ll give it a go and endeavor to write one of my skewered reviews after the show airs every Wednesday night, starting in early October.

BUT……in the meantime, the same writers and producers are  premiering their new show, Scream Queens on FOX this coming Tuesday evening.   If that proves to be as campy and quirky as I hope it’ll be, then old Punksatawney Laurie will come out of her den of inequity will blog for six more weeks.

The Political Cause Celeb For Kim Davis

The Kentucky County Clerk who was arrested for refusing to issue a same-sex marriage license due to her religious convictions,  is home.    She spent six days in an uncomfortable, cramped jell call, perhaps with Brawny Big Sal in the other bunk.     Wow.   Kim Davis is made of strong stuff.

But Kim Davis is also in violation of the law.  I say that feeling certain she shouldn’t have gone to jail for it either

Same sex marriages are on books.    The Supreme Court says marriage is an equal opportunity for all.      As someone elected to her post, she swore she to uphold the laws of the land, not her creed.   This isn’t s theocracy.

What it is, is her job as an instrument of the U.S. Constitution.  She has to put her religious paradigms on hold.    I don’t care if she’s a cloistered nun who’s a rabbi on the side with a son who’s a mullah.

If the possibility of Sharia law governing this country is appalling, overt Christianity should be a concern as well as.  The same applies to any other religious or societal factions, whether they be in the form of Kim Davis or for that matter, Morey Sclechtman, Mohammed Alabaster or recently engaged Misters James and Brad So-In-So.    There are some things you can decide for yourself…and some things you can’t.

Davis can be a conscientious objector, but to do so (in my opinion) means she must be willing to reach a compromise of some sort.  Well, the reason why Davis is out of jail is because she asked for and was granted an accommodation—-she’s not requesting same-sex marriages be outlawed, she simply doesn’t want her signature on any legal documentation.  It’s against what she personally believes, but that belief is an obstruction.

It didn’t need to get to this point.   It was completely unavoidable and its exhausting to watch.  It’s been a situation of extremes.   The judge who put Davis in the Bastille over-corrected.    The punishment didn’t fit the crime.   Plus, her past has been brought up and dragged through the mud.  She been married over and over, divorced amost  as any times.  As best I can tell, Davis Is a fairly recent convert to Christianity, Born Again as they say.     Some find solace and centeredness at the gym, in therapy, others find it in religio, all viable entrees to finding inner peace.    Groovy.     She, like everyone else, she deserves a life edit, a do over.   She has that— for now—but no doubt, someone will enter the picture and either politicize the shit out of it even further or shame and guilt society into seeing his or her version of moral righteousness.

But the long and short of it is as follows:  she didn’t have to go to jail, neither did she have to turn this into a statement which now has been polarized.    She should have respectfully disagreed  to sign the marriage certificate and if it possible, “deputize” a willing coworker for the brief time it takes add a signature to a document.    I don’t know how this got so crazy, who complained to who or what was the motivation.    I’m all for religious freedom, part of the constitutional bedrock of this country, but I don’t like martyrdom in any form or fashion.

This is why Non-politicians are being heralded this election season.    Everyone is tired of the rhetorical narrative spewed by the opposition.  I am this, I am that.   America needs this, it needs that.    PPfffffft.   Republican POTUS hopefuls, Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz are both in Kentucky, Huckabee on on stage, arm in arm with Davis.   Cruz is somewhere in the crowd, taking selfies, to post if this mishegas becomes generally positive; or to delete just in case it all goes south.   Personally, I feel they’re making a vast political mistake by even contemplating a jump on this constitutional defiance bandwagon.  How can one legitimately run for a position which is  contingent upon upholding the  established laws of the parchment all the while saying it is bollocks to being with????

Then again, what the hell?   I personally don’t think either contender has or will ever have a realistic shot at winning the primary.   Maybe deep down they know this is true.   If Cruz or Huckabee are going down, they have a right to pick their blaze of glory, but invariably, these guys also have to know to they’ll burn someone  in the process.

Finding Joy

I’ve returned to blogging recently.   I love my need to write but I hate my need to be read.  So, in trying to shake off the conflict, I’m reading more.   It’s an attempt to expand my mind as opposed to narcissistically dwelling in it.

Step away from the table of contents.

Today, my reading material consisted of the Holocaust and the  upcoming 14th anniversary of 9/11 (hard to believe).    To lighten the mood, I got caught up on the Bolshevik Revolution.  And now here I sit, sleepless and questioning so many of the things I once knew as certainties.

Question du jour:  is joy a spiritual reward?

Or is access to it innate and then once realized, must it be practiced regularly?   Or is it results oriented?   Do we earn joy like old school S&H Green Stamps or bonus points for knowing the proper way to pronounce Ibiza in Catalan?? How closely is it related to faith?    Does an atheist experience the same kind of joy as a Levite Jew?    As a war-weary Syrian hell bent on seeing her homeland from an infrequent over the shoulder glance?       As a one one percenter in America?  As an ambidextrous Portuguese butcher who’s also a vegetarian AND a Scorpio????   Can a scholar sense joy as someone unschooled, lay people as opposed to a proverbial keeper to the flock???

i can’t help but feel that joy is as ironic as it is elusive.  For some people, anyway.  It’s a conscious effort that has to be based on life experience.   Can you exist in a death camp simply for being Jewish while still being as devout as you were before imprisonment?     Can Mass be celebrated on a battle field?

Life experience must play a part, right?   It has to be.   I don’t know what it’s like to drink Cristal on my own Lear jet, heading to exotic ports of call.   I don’t know what it’s like to be a teenager in Peshawar.    I don’t know how it feels to be an Israeli who must make daily trips to a bomb shelter, a Katrina surviver, a gay firefighter in Poughkeepsie, a male model, a Vietnam vet or a red-head for that matter.

I think joy is a conscious effort, that try as you might, can’t be a constant factor.  Perhaps one cam claim to experience joy most of the time, la the Duggarrs, formerly on TLC, currently on every tabloid in every check out aisle.   Can joy run on a continuous loop?


Joy, I reckon, must have an opposing force, you know, like a certain duality such as sweet and salty, hot and cold.  It must be an emotion of extremes.   Otherwise we wouldn’t be able to recognize it as what it is (joy) or what it isn’t (sorrow).   Okay, fine but Is there a middle ground?  Can you be content but not necessarily joyful per se?   Is love a product of joy or a necessary component needed to experience it?  Are love and joy one in the same?

Do I attempt to answer my own questions by asking them?    A question is safer than a declarative, is it not?

Wow.   You do not want to have an existential crisis on a balmy Saturday morning when Mopheus ignores you and you have 600 TV channels, 579 of which pay their bills with early hour infomercials on over priced hair care products or something called “a giant ladder system”.

I’d rather watch a test pattern.

Oh joy.

Dear Laurie

My darling younger self,

What I am doing is nothing new.  In fact, writing letters to your younger self is downright hackneyed.   Everyone does it.   I guess I could also try to write your epitaph while I’m at it!!!!   Okay, but that’s for later in our therapy.

First, we’ll address us when we were 20.     Nice time.    We are/were was young and thin.    Still living in Austin before the severe leftist intrusion the late 80’s.    College was fun, like high school with ash trays.   It was a raucous time to be alive.   Back then, no one tried so hard to be different.   Uniqueness just was– not a lifestyle pursuit.

Remember how we moved every time the rent went up?   It was a hassle to be a  full-time student working at a crappy job that introduced itself to you as a crappy job.     We knew it when we said “Yes to the stress”.    But you’ll do just fine.   You’ll learn to live within your means and you already know about talking at a higher octave to buy a cheaper Happy Meal without the guilt.

Never forget get those insidious roach infested apartments we lived in.   They were and for some time, will be, tiny and cramped.  Lean to’ with shingles.  But you’ll appreciate that you have a roof over your head and indoor plumbing. But never forget, the DNA of a hundred previous tenants will always be swirling on every surface.   Avoid the petri dish that will be your kitchens.   Look into healthy ways of employing anorexia in your life, if possible.   You won’t want to place food, much less eat it, anywhere near most of your kitchen counters.

For a time in your  early twenties to age 30 or so,, the only letters you’ll receive will be returned check notices from your bank.   You’ll learn to hate that distinctive shade of pink paper that shouts  “welcher…..loser” behind the envelope’s cellophane window.   But I beg you, don’t beat yourself up about this. Why?  Because you will survive the “student experience”.   You’ll make those particular sacrifices while still young in life.  You’ll live in neighborhoods that were shady because like your neighbors, you didn’t have a choice.    At least not in the fiscal sense.   And yes, the chasm between you and “the haves” will exist, especially while still in college, You’ll look enviously at those rich, indulged sorority types who were on parents-ships, totally subsidized by mummy and daddy.  You used to think their only goal for four years was to pledge the right sorority, date the right guy from the proper Texas zip code and study, in between winters in Cabo and spring breaks in Gstaad.   But I want you to let go of any resentment ASAP.   It’s reductive and besides, everyone has a veneer, a lovely candy coating…..and consequently, everyone has a price to pay for everything.   The Big Mental Get Even comes later, I promise.    You’ll be amazed how once you’re in the real world, the playing field will be leveled.     Not completely, but more so than it was during your college days.  You’ll grow up, mature and see the error in your thinking.

Oh and while I’m at it, don’t date any jocks at while at The University of  Texas.   It won’t end well.

For him, as it turns out.

You’ll have a kickass career, especially at the very beginning and while the money isn’t flooding in, your star is rising and you will be heralded in ways you only imagined at age six.     On air, you are loved unconditionally and disliked with as much passion.   Learn to edit criticism from viewers and listeners and for God’s sake, run like hell from broadcast consultants.     All they know is resentment from an on-air career that went to hell or worse, never went anywhere.   They’re Satan’s spawn on a salad plate filled with nettles.     General Managers are generally full of hot air too, their hands still aching from all the knives they plunged into other people’s backs.    They will eventually stumble and fall as well.   You’ll learn that failure and disappointment are viable and unavoidable  facts of life.    Embrace them.  They are lessons indeed, but not necessarily pass/fail courses.    You can choose your mode of testing.

In order to do that, I urge you to avoid pilots, ignore the tall, handsome Canadian.   Stay clear of the lure of fame even if regional, even if it’s on lowest rung on the show biz latter.  Try to abstain from all the stuff that feels good and either sounds like, or actually includes the letter “x” anywhere its title.   Imbibe less.  Learn that Love is more, much more than a few commonalities,    A mutual love of chicken coop welding will bring  you together, but it’s not enough to keep you together.   Love is complicated, regardless of how easy it can feel.   Use common sense, don’t be a doormat.   Reinforce your spine.

Please let go of that precious little lion cub by 1975.    Trust me, your life will be easier.    Adolescent first loves are too often idealized and never a reason to seek a vacuum cleaner hose before shutting the garage door.  It just feels like the end of the world.   It isn’t.  There’s power in release.

Learn that donuts aren’t sweet bagels, don’t date co-workers.   Madonna will always be thinner than you AND might I add, always a year older.    Calibrate the mania in your life, keep stress on low and battle the inertia, where possible.  And please know this—it’s perfectly fine to be vulnerable, just not to the point of exploitation.

So, be kinder to yourself than I was.    I’m sorry for some of the decisions I made….not so much what I did, but who I did.   Had I been wiser, the tone of this letter would be far less cautionary.  But in spite of all the warnings, there will be good times in your life and yes, you will know joy, but understand that (unless you did an unscripted  180 and became a cloistered nun), it’s not a constant.    It should be, but it can’t be, no matter what bill of goods you or someone else is trying to sell you.   .    You’re an errant human and you’ll know joy’s varying degrees throughout your life.    Revel in its presence.     Use time wisely, it never seems to stop until it has passed.   Oy.   Enjoy your memories but stay focused on  your dreams and goals.      And uh….being the first female broadcaster in space, isn’t one of them.

Marriage and motherhood can be In the picture should you choose to form a civil union or procreate….providing the ovaries can produce anything but powdered eggs.    That’ll be an issue.   But  you’ll welcome menopause and be okay with aging, as long as you don’t attach anything numerical to the process.  Stay away from fun house mirrors and laugh, loudly and often.  Walk tall, learn to accept and respect your gifts. You have more than you allowed yourself to realize.  Avoid complex carbohydrates and refuse the urge to celebrate your birthday during Fiesta in San Antonio, 1991. The trip there will literally wreck your life.

Lastly and perhaps the most important thing Older Me can impart to Younger Me would be this:  your mother wasn’t Kreskin.   She was wrong about a lot of things.



You at 56.